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
Tansy Davies was awarded the Gregynog Young Composer of Wales prize in 1995 for her piece Keep on Keepin' On.
This attractive brass quintet based on the traditional sea shanty What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor opens with a fanfare followed by a main theme, first on trumpets and then on the horn. A series of linked variations follow, with the tune passed between the instruments in constantly changing tempos and styles. A strong rhythmic accompaniment keeps the sea shanty mood and the piece finishes with a showy flourish. Arranged by Eileen Clews, this light hearted work gives each player the chance to show off their instrument, so making it an ideal concert piece or a study piece for brass workshops.
Written to be light, bright entertainment this work is an interesting, melodic suite with plenty of rhythmic coloration. The four movements are very varied and include a lyrical and soulful horn solo, unusual in this sort of repertoire. For colleges, conservatoires, professionals.
This arrangement by Robin Benton uses just two of the numerous themes from Richard Wagner's overture to his 1868 opera The Mastersingers of Nuremberg. The opening theme represents the Mastersingers themselves. This dignified melody is stated and then developed contrapuntally, leading to the second theme - this theme is used in the opera for the entry of the Mastersingers. The music builds to a climax that introduces a short reprise of the majestic Mastersingers theme, and triumphant fanfares bring the piece to a rousing finish.
The Planets Suite in Miniature is an attempt to take the listener through Gustav Holst's orchestral masterpiece in less than ten minutes using only five brass instruments. Only five of the seven most famous and recognisable melodies from the original are used, beginning, like the prototype, with Mars. The different movements appear in the same order as Holst wrote, although the rhythmic pattern of Mars reappears on occasion. The piece ends with a clash of interest as the two most well known movements, Mars and Jupiter, compete for the right to finish. The harsh sounds of Mars are heard first before the hymnal Jupiter theme is heard over the driving rhythm of Mars. Jupiter finally triumphs with the piece ending with one final verse of the tune used for the hymn I Vow To Thee My Country. This instantly recognisable arrangement by Thomas Chinery is both challenging and playable, and of a length that will not tire the players too much while at the same time maintaining the essence and power of the original music to ensure interest for both audience and players alike. A recording by the Argento Brass Quintet can be heard on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGg1-pcHzrs