AN ENGLISH PASTORALE
This piece realises a long-time ambition to write a descriptive piece in a pastorale style. The idea of depicting the seasons and reflecting some of the grandeur of the English scenery proved an inspiring source to write this 4 movement piece.
After the dignified initial theme Heralding the Dawn is established (2 variations of this theme are restated in the 4th movement), the piece moves naturally into the 1st movement, Autumn on the Plaines. The 12/8 rhythm sets out to depict a light, joyful scene. There are 2 small themes running through this movement and are initially employed at sections A and B. There are moments of modal harmony that are there to be enjoyed by the players and conveyed accurately and confidently. Any time an accidental is seen in the copy, it needs to be cleanly presented. There are many such instances throughout the work. The movement builds momentum but in doing so, it is essential that a solid rhythmic poise is maintained throughout. Always ensure the melody is clearly stated at all times. There are plenty of articulations to ensure are brought out accurately and the 2 themes need to convey a sense of contrast – the first being more bouncy in feel and the second more of a Iegato feel. Awareness of momentum, accuracy of intonation and rhythmic poise are key to this first movement.
Winter in the Dales has a more mysterious and contains a somewhat darker feel in the minor key. Again, it is hoped there are plenty of strong harmonic moments as well as a melody which allows scope for expression. There are dynamic contrast in the introduction which need to be cleanly presented and not overblown. Strive for a true balance of the harmonies – there is always something to be gained from ensuring the 2nd and 3rd parts give their true proportion of the chords. The Cornet section is prominent at the Piu Mosso section which is the main theme to this movement. The ending gives plenty of time for the final major chord to be beautifully presented.
Spring on the Lakes is a flowing, scenic movement. There are moments to sense the Autumnal sunshine as well as the patterns in the water. Again, through soloists and the various ensembles used, there is opportunity to portray colourful and expressive music. There is a somewhat dream-like feeling to this movement and accuracy of accidentals is once again crucial. There is a little moment of tension with the Horns, 5 bars from the conclusion of the movement before the resolution immediately found in the next bar. Overall there should be a feeling of calm and serenity to this movement.
Summer on the Quays starts with some exciting fanfare-like qualities initially from the Cornets and Trombones, but then extra impetus is provided from the whole band. The first of the two variations on the initial Heralding the Dawn theme are then presented in an up-tempo style with a sense of drive from the percussion. The second statement is in the Maestoso style and is aimed as being a grand finale to the work. Again, the percussion keeps the sense of drive but in a more dignified approach. The music moves then into a dynamic and resounding conclusion with emphasis on cohesion in style and note-lengths as well as a feeling of momentum towards the final, triumphant chord.
|An English Pastorale
|Australian Nationals 2018 D Grade, Dutch Nationals 2016, 4th Section UK Regionals 2015, 4th Section