This piece won the 1995 Gregynog Composers Award at the Gregynog Music Festival, Wales. It was inspired by Miles Davis's version of George Gershwin's Prayer from Porgy and Bess. Review: "While it is not particularly taxing, Keep On Keepin' On would be effective only in the hands of an advanced graduate or professional group. It demands great control in difficult ranges with high pianissimo playing, and tight ensemble work is required to coordinate improvisatory melodic passages with their ostinato accompaniments." – Erin Mayhood of Boston University in Notes, March 2005
Six movements, starting with Quick March which requires some fast and neat tonguing from all members of the quintet. The Polka which follows is full of colour and requires dexterous trumpet playing. The third movement Blues is a long way from a traditional New Orleans blues - with its melancholy mood and Debussy like harmony it is more like a small impressionist tone poem. Merry Waltz is followed by Preamble, a gentle, atmospheric piece at a leisurely walking tempo. The final movement of this suite Tarandtango (Tarantango) cleverly combines two dances, the energetic tarantella and the elegant tango, resulting in an exciting and virtuoso finale.
This attractive and well laid out piece, by Essex composer Alan Danson, is generally tonal and contains interesting rhythmic interplay and changes of time to keep performers (and listeners!) on their toes.
Difficult but rewarding arrangements that require trumpet players who can change from the B flat trumpet to the piccolo trumpet with ease. The trombone plays 'second horn' in all the horn call type figures and the tuba part requires some nimble playing. Stephen Wick's excellent arrangements have been heard around the world in his performances with the English Brass Ensemble. For advanced student groups, studios and professionals.
The Swan is the most famous movement from The Carnival of the Animals, usually represented by the 'cello which emulates the swan elegantly gliding over the water with only its reflection for company. In this arrangement for brass quintet it is the trombone with its lush tenor sound, that should be played in the style of Tommy Dorsey, that gives the swan its grace. The other instruments accompany the trombone with rolling chords which represent the feet of the swan hidden beneath the water propelling it along. This powerful melody will leave your hair standing up and a tear in your eye.