Saturday, June 29, 2019

Beethoven's 5th Bossa Nova

Terence Greaves, when we first met him, was Dean of Undergraduate Studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. A quiet, unassuming academic we thought. However we soon found out about his naughty side. In his earlier life he had been a lecturer at the Birmingham School of Music, where he had contact with the CBSO - in particular the wind section.
It was the clarinettist John Fuest who encouraged him to write for the CBSO wind quintet, which is where Terry's mischievous side came to light. Beethoven's Fifth Bossa Nova is wicked fun to play, and audiences absolutely love it. He went on to write Rimsky's Rumba and Mozart's Turkey Rock Mambo, all of which are published by Emerson Edition. However it is the Beethoven that is the firm favourite, and inspired this jazzy cover from the cartoonist Bill Tidy.
Terence Greaves 1933 - 2009
composer, lecturer, accompanist, and music consultant on ABRSM examinations
E42 Terence Greaves - Beethoven's 5th Bossa Nova
E191 Rimsky's Rumba
E245 Mozart's Turkey Rock Mambo

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Hunt


The wind quintet line-up appeared just a little late for consideration by the major classical composers. It was not until Reicha and Danzi came along in the early 1800s that it began to be recognised as an ensemble. Although since that time there have been some wonderful works composed specifically for quintet,  there have also been a lot of arrangements, made to fill out the earlier repertoire. String quartets, of course, have a  rich supply of musically satisfying works, many of which have been converted for quintets to play - with varying degrees of success.
Mozart's 'The Hunt' however is a major achievement in this arrangement by Geoffrey Emerson. It is done by someone who knows intimately how each instrument, and instrumentalist, works. Many string quartets have passages ('scrubbing, pizzicato, string-crossing arpeggios and the like) that don't translate musically for wind instruments. These he refuses to arrange as they will never sound convincing.
'The Hunt' however is a supremely wonderful and satisfying musical experience for wind players. If you only try one - try this one!
June Emerson

E28 Mozart 'The Hunt' K458 string quartet
arranged by Geoffrey Emerson for wind quintet



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Horn or Bicycle?

Christine Muskett cycles for charity again..

"Shall I bring my horn or my bicycle?" is the usual question when Christine Muskett comes to Yorkshire. Whenever she comes we try to organise a quintet session, or she visits our local orchestra. The bicycle option is for keeping her muscles in trim and enjoying the fantastic countryside in this part of North Yorkshire.
Every summer Christine cycles for a chosen charity. This year is is for Dementia UK, a charity that makes a huge difference to people's lives. She will be cycling C2C2C2C (Close to Coast to Close to Coast) covering a distance of about 450 miles. This is as nothing to someone who did London to Paris in two days a few years ago.

Please support Christine's ride if you can:

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Online Oboe Masterclasses

Celia Craig

Celia’s oboe teaching approach comes from a lifetime of experience at all levels – tertiary, school children, adults, professional development of teachers, beginners, workshops and within the industry at the manufacture and design level.
In addition, Celia’s playing experience is second to none, stemming from her own education at some of the world’s top training opportunities, encompassing orchestral, commercial, solo, chamber, lecturing, curating, performance practice and experience upon a number of instruments. Celia’s own teachers and mentors have been superb players and educators to whom she pays tribute as having nurtured her unique outlook which differs from the traditional model of oboe teaching.
Formerly National President of Australasian Double Reed Society, Chairman of BBC Symphony Orchestra, former active member of BBCSO Education program, Music Curator for The National Trust of South Australia, coach for Australian Youth Orchestra and Adelaide Youth Orchestra, State Music Camp of SA, leader of masterclasses and workshops at Elder Conservatoire, Royal College, Royal Northern College, Royal Academy, Guildhall School, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, YST (Singapore) Conservatory, Purcell School and others, Celia is a contributor to the new Arts Plan for SA and committed to improving its outcomes for oboists

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Albanian International Brass Festival

23 - 27 April 2019

Masterclasses by outstanding players from

Thursday, April 11, 2019

E 17 Hartley Suite for 3 bassoons

It was that wonderful sound...

Archie Camden - 1888 - 1979
(Halle Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

It was in the summer of 1965 at Queenswood School, Hertfordshire, that I first heard bassoons in any quantity. I was attending one of the Ernest Read summer schools as a helper. When my household duties were finished, I was allowed to play second violin in the Second Orchestra.
Walking across the netball courts one sunny afternoon I heard this magical pouring out through the open window of a nearby room. Three bassoons playing some joyful music. What a sound!
Straight away I tracked down the bassoon tutor, Archie Camden, and said 'I've decided I want to learn the bassoon!' He smiled and said 'You find an instrument my dear,  and I will give you some lessons.'
Wow! He was Famous! (I only had three lessons from him, but it was a great start.)
One of the other bassoonists on the course had an instrument to sell. When I got home I borrowed money everywhere possible and bought it. I was hooked for life!
Several years later the 'joyful music' that I had originally heard on that memorable day came into my hands, through some friends.: Suite for Three Bassoons by Geoffrey Hartley.
In 1976, with joyful gratitude, Emerson Edition published it.
June Emerson
E17 Hartley - Suite for Three Bassoons
Hornpipe, Waltz, March

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Bassoons again...

A Noble Project

Laurence Perkins - former principal bassoon of the Manchester Camerata

Laurence Perkins is an active and enthusiastic ambassador for the bassoon. Not many students choose the bassoon as their instrument. The cost of an instrument can be an obstacle, and it is (let's face it) not the most extrovert and showy instrument in the orchestra. What's more it doesn't often play solos, so is seldom very visible.
However there is an impressive repertoire of wonderful solo works, and Laurence is making it his business to make sure they are heard and appreciated. Together with Hyperion he is recording two CDs of some of the most significant pieces. Please take a look at his site:

The bassoon is the good-natured philosopher of the orchestra. Although often at the middle or bottom of the harmonic structure, the bassoon adds warmth, stability, lyricism and character - and sometimes fun. When it has an orchestral solo it can often either make you laugh (Malcolm Arnold Scottish Dances) or break your heart (Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4). It is a most wonderful and rewarding instrument to play.

I am supporting Laurence in this project - I hope that you can too.

June Emerson