Concert Band Travels to Norway for Its Next Performance
As the New Horizons Concert Band prepares for its eagerly awaited spring concert at Olbrich Gardens, one of the pieces it is working on is a composition by British composer, Philip Sparke (pictured left). The 2003 composition is Mandalen Landscapes, which, Sparke describes this way:
"The picturesque town of Måndalen lies amid snow-covered mountains and scenic fjords on the west coast of Norway. Mandalen Landscapes was commissioned by and written for Måndalen Skule og Ungdomskorps (Måndalen School and Youth Band) for a major concert in November 2003. [The piece] sets out to capture the beauty of the area in music and the piece opens with an evocation of the crisp, clear air of a Norwegian morning. After this introduction, the main theme is stated on clarinets and saxophones. A central bridge section takes the listener through several moods until the brass reintroduce the main theme under a woodwind descant. Material from the introduction brings the work to a peaceful close."
Philip Sparke, who was born 1951 in London, is noted for his concert band and brass band music. His early major works include The Land of the Long White Cloud – "Aotearoa" – written for the 1980 Centennial New Zealand Brass Band championship. He subsequently went on to win the EBU New Music for Band Competition three times, including in 1986 with a commission from the BBC called Orient Express. Since May 2000, his music has been published under his own label Anglo Music Press.
[Excerpted and edited from philipsparke.com and wikipedia]