Thursday, November 22, 2018

E7 Before and After

Ronald Hanmer

1917 - 1994

It was in the early 1970s that we first made contact with Ronald Hanmer, probably the most prolific composer of light music that has ever lived. "Ronald Hanmer throws tunes around like a man with ten arms" said one of his reviewers. We were looking for good music for young wind players, and we asked him whether he would do something for us. He eventually gave us four works, of which the most memorable was 'Suite for Seven' - which appropriately became Emerson Edition No.7.  It was scored for our Schools Wind Ensemble Series, and comprised four movements: Seven on Parade, a perky little march tune, a lyrical Song for Seven, then Three Plus Four, making it completely painless for youngsters to play in 7/4 time, and a cheerful Finale for Seven.
We met only once, and he was a neat person in a neat grey suit, very proper we thought. When he said he was moving to Australia in 1975 we were devastated, but happily our correspondence continued right through until 1994, the year of his death.

We were delighted to see that the relaxed atmosphere of Australia led to brightly coloured shirts and long hair - he blossomed there, and continued writing tunes to the very end. His most famous of that era was the theme music for the longest-running Australian television serial Blue Hills. Originally composed long before, as 'Pastorale' for the Francis Day and Hunter Mood Music library, he reworked it for the programme:

SUITE FOR SEVEN (score & parts)

E7 Suite for Seven - Ronald Hanmer

2 flutes, oboe, 3 clarinets, bassoon

Grade 3-4

Thursday, November 8, 2018

E6 Valse des Fleurs

Wye & Bennett - Doppler & Doppler

Spot the deliberate mistake?
It was on one of those extraordinary Canterbury music courses that I heard Trevor Wye and William Bennett play the delicious 'Valse des Fleurs' by Ernesto Kohler for two flutes and piano. We just had to re-publish it. It was then we found out that it was often played by the brothers Karl and Franz Doppler. They were a popular double-act, not only for their virtuoso playing but visually. As Karl was left-handed he played the flute in reverse...

Hence the cover design of E6

The joy of this piece is that, unlike many flute concert pieces of that period, it isn't too difficult, and can be played by Grade 5 students. They love it.

E6 Ernesto Kohler - Valse des Fleurs