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by Guy Woolfenden

Grade 4.5 duration 10 minutes







  Click the movement titles above for 30 second samples

Some of the thematic material for this suite of three dances is adapted from music originally written for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The precise location of Illyria was not important to Shakespeare; what excited him was the resonance of the word itself and the romance of all far away, make-believe places. Illyria is “Never Never Land”, and the composer was intrigued with the idea of inventing dances for such a place.

Illyrian Dances was commissioned by the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles with funds provided by West Midlands Arts and is dedicated to Timothy Reynish. The first performance took place on 26th September 1986 at Warwick University during the fifth annual BASBWE Conference.

..... once again demonstrating the composer’s ear for sonorities and feel for attractive tunes and catchy rhythmic devices. This, like Gallimaufry, is light music of the highest order, English without being plagiaristic, challenging for players and good to listen to.

Winds Magazine

Guy Woolfenden’s Illyrian Dances show this composer to be real master of the medium, exploiting with colourful writing all the timbres of wind instruments, sometimes in unexpected parts of their compass. It is enjoyable music to play and to listen to.

Winds Magazine


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