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by Guy Woolfenden

Grade 4/5 duration 11 minutes

   
  I Solemn March
  II Valse Triste

 

III Finale
 

The thematic material for the first movement, Solemn March, started life as a coronation procession in Trevor Nunn’s legendary production of The Revenger’s Tragedy, a notorious Jacobean blood and guts play by Cyril Tourneur. Trevor Nunn was also the director of a much loved production of All’s Well That Ends Well, starring Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Harriet Walter, from which the Valse Triste comes, featuring a haunting melody tailor-made for the oboe. The last movement, Finale, is a reworking of the curtain call music for Bill Alexander’s amazing production of Richard III starring Antony Sher, who memorably played the role on crutches.

As with the composer’s earlier works, there is plenty here to challenge the more expert players, particularly the exposed woodwind writing in the slow movement, but while a school or community band would have plenty of problems to tackle, technically and musically the work would be well within the grasp of any band who has other works by Woolfenden in their repertoire.

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