Welcome to our summer concert featuring a varied programme of dance music from around the world, written or arranged for wind orchestra. The evening will also showcase works for flute ensemble prepared during the orchestra’s popular annual flute day, which took place today.
Dance of the Tumblers: Rimsky-Korsakov
Jazz Waltz no. 2: Shostakovich, arr. Johan de Meij
Never Forgotten, for flute choir: Keiron Anderson
Brasiliana: Keiron Anderson
Danceries: Kenneth Hesketh
1. Lull me beyond thee
2. Catching of Quails
3. My Lady’s Rest
4. Quodling’s Delight
Pineapple Poll: Sullivan, arr. Mackerras, arr. W J Duthoit
1. Opening Number
2. Jasper’s Dance
3. Poll’s Dance
Two Northumbrian Tunes, arr. flute choir by Mel Orriss
Nimrod: Elgar, arr. Geoffrey Brand
Tango de Buenos Aires: Keiron Anderson
Incantation and Dance: John Barnes Chance
Rimsky-Korsakov: Dance of the Tumblers
Dance music is an important feature of many operas, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden is no exception. The opera was composed in 1880-81 and centres around the eternal forces of nature and the relationship between mythological characters with semi mythological characters, the Snow Maiden and humans. Dance of the Tumblers, or Dance of the Clowns, features in the third act, in which the village people party before the contest to win the Snow Maiden’s heart begins. This is a short, fun piece with bold, spirited themes that conjure up the movements and sassy attitude of acrobatic clowns.
Shostakovich: Jazz Waltz no. 2
No programme of dance music would be complete without a waltz, and what could be a better example than Shostakovich’s popular Jazz Waltz no. 2? This waltz is one of an eight movement Suite for Variety Orchestra. It features a simple lyrical melody that first appears on saxophone before being adopted by other parts of the ensemble. The long melodic lines are accompanied by a relentless accompaniment, combining to give it a quirky, slightly uneasy feel. Fun fact: This short waltz has become one of the composer’s most well loved pieces, having been used in the Russian film The First Echelon and more recently Stanley Kubrik’s psychological drama Eyes Wide Shut.
Kieron Anderson: Brasiliana
Brasiliana, an original piece for wind orchestra by our music director Kieron Anderson, is an energetic samba, full of joyful exuberance. Written in 2014, it was subsequently reimagined by the composer for saxophone ensemble and for brass band. The piece features lively Latin percussion and punchy rhythms for brass and woodwind underpinning an exuberant melody. Listen out for Tijuana Brass style bell notes building to powerful layered chords. Sit back, close your eyes and be transported to Rio de Janeiro by these exciting rhythms and catchy tunes.
The word Danceries is taken from Playford’s Dancing Master, a seventeenth century collection of popular and folk tunes that was used by expert fiddle players to teach the dance steps of the time to noblemen and royalty. Hesketh’s work for wind orchestra uses a mixture of traditional and original music, although where traditional music is used it is always given a new contemporary identity. The four movements are a lilting lullaby, a sprightly scherzo, a gentle pavane and an energetic finale that cleverly combines old and new themes. As Hesketh says: “Whilst this present set of ‘danceries’ cannot be said to be an aid to terpsichorean agility, I do hope that it will at least set feet tapping.”
Sullivan: Pineapple Poll
Pineapple Poll is a comic ballet inspired by the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. The tongue in cheek story centres around Pineapple Poll and her friends, who are all in love with the captain of HMS Hot Cross Bun and dress up as sailors to get on to the ship. When the copyright on Sullivan’s music expired in 1950, Sadler’s Wells grasped the opportunity to stage a ballet using his music, arranged by Charles Mackerras in his youth. Mackerras created what he himself described as a patchwork quilt of tunes from the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, commenting that “Every bar of Pineapple Poll is taken from some opera or other.” See how many familiar tunes you can spot!
Nimrod is the ninth variation from the Variations on an Original Theme, (Enigma Variations), and portrays Elgar’s great friend, editor and publisher Augustus J Jaeger. It is the most well known of the variations, often being performed as a stand-alone concert piece. The movement pays tribute to Jaeger’s long-standing support for the struggling composer, and an inspiring conversation about Beethoven. Fun fact: The movement starts with a subtle reference to Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata. The Enigma Variations is well known as an orchestral work, but why is it included in a programme of dance music? The answer is that the choreographer Frederick Ashton created a one-act ballet, Enigma Variations (My Friends Pictured Within), to Elgar’s music. It was first performed by the Royal Ballet in 1968 and has been revived every decade since.
Kieron Anderson: Tango de Buenos Aires
We pick up on Kieron’s tour of South America with a visit to Buenos Aires, home of the Argentinian tango. This piece is a light-hearted and affectionate tribute to the composer Astor Piazzolla, father of the Nuevo tango, or the new tango genre. Like Piazzolla’s compositions, this work is full of poignant melodies underpinned by the familiar tango rhythm, giving it a bittersweet feel with all the trademark passion and drama of the tango. The piece was originally written for brass band and reimagined by the composer for wind orchestra. Listen out for the Piazzolla-inspired continuously descending bassline!
Barnes Chance: Incantation and Dance
Incantation and Dance is an original work for wind orchestra composed by John Barnes Chance in 1960. It was his first work for wind orchestra and soon became a popular and critically acclaimed concert piece, remaining an important item in the repertoire for over fifty years. The piece starts with a slow, sad, almost spooky incantation theme introduced by the flutes before the texture develops gradually. A rhythmic percussion feature leads into the dance, soon being joined by the rest of the orchestra as the excitement builds with a triplet feature then thrilling semiquaver runs and trills. Towards the end all the elements of the piece combine to lead to a spectacular ending. Watch out for members from the clarinet and oboe sections joining the percussion section on claves, gourd and tambourine!
Keiron was born in Aberdeen and studied trumpet and keyboard at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he started both a light orchestra and big band. His career has multiple strands: musical director, composer, performer, teacher.
Keiron currently directs Yorkshire Wind Orchestra (1994 – ) which he has brought to its present level of excellence, Nottingham Symphonic Winds (2006 – ) with whom he has produced many excellent concerts and recordings, and Phoenix Concert Band (2003 – ) which he has developed into a high-quality community wind band. He has worked with many other groups including Harlequin Brass, Leeds Conservatoire Wind Orchestra, Nottingham Symphony Orchestra, the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain and numerous chamber ensembles throughout the UK and Europe as part of a diverse and rich schedule of conducting. Keiron approaches each group differently according to its particular character, capabilities, ambition and rehearsal schedule!
Keiron is a prolific composer producing unique and exciting new music across an eclectic mix of styles. Some of these works are written specifically for the groups he directs or as commissions for other ensembles. Others are intended to be enjoyed on Soundcloud.
Keiron has worked extensively as a freelance performer from performing in a chamber orchestra in Bridlington sightreading 12 concerts a week, to work with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, London Festival Ballet, Welsh Opera, Scottish National Orchestra and the BBC Northern Radio Orchestra. Keiron also established the Keiron Anderson Orchestra and completed several years working on cruise ships followed by a period in Spain before returning to the UK and performing all over the country with artists such as Cannon and Ball, Ronnie Corbett, Bob Monkhouse, Little and Large, Frankie Vaughan and many more.
Keiron’s teaching experience includes 10 years as a peripatetic teacher of brass and composition, three years as Head of the Ilkley Music Centre and 18 years as Head of Music, then Head of Creative Arts at Ilkley Grammar School.