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