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Grainger Edition Vol 4 - Works For Wind Orchestra / Royal Northern College Of Music


Release Date: 05/20/1997 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 9549   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Timothy ReynishClark Rundell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It is apt that the fourth disc in Chandos’s Grainger Edition should be devoted to the wind orchestra medium, when for a variety of reasons it specially suited him. Throughout his career he was forever arranging and rearranging his own pieces for different forces, and in the wind band he had one which catered perfectly for his love of contrasting instrumental colourings. As Barry Ould’s authoritative note for this disc points out, Grainger’s devotion was cemented when he served for a time in the American Army during the First World War. As Assistant Instructor in the Army Music Training School he took the opportunity of transcribing some of his folk-song settings for military band, including a fair proportion of those included here.
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That said, this disc calls to mind, even more than the previous ones in the Grainger Edition, Constant Lambert’s celebrated remark about folk-songs – memorably quoted by Vaughan Williams, no less, in his analysis of the Sixth Symphony – that all you can do with them is to repeat them louder. Grainger of course shows considerably more ingenuity than that in varying his many repetitions, and it says much for the superb performances here by the RNCM Wind Orchestra that there is no feeling of monotony in this collection, ending with his biggest wind piece, the suite of six folk-song arrangements, Lincolnshire Posy. It has been fascinating to compare the performances of that and of three other favourite pieces, Molly on the shore, Irish Tune from County Derry and Shepherd’s Hey!, with those recorded for ASV by Dennis Wicks with a most distinguished group of London’s wind-players, centring on principals from the LSO (11/92 – nla). In no respect do the Manchester players fall short of their more mature rivals, with pinpoint ensemble, just as jaunty in the brisk numbers and in slow pieces often more flexible in their use of rubato. Thanks in part to beautifully balanced sound, at once airy and cleanly focused, the Chandos performances are regularly lighter, with Grainger’s favourite syncopated descants deliciously pointed, and give a clearer idea of the terracing of textures so vital to this writing.

Many of the pieces are well-known in Grainger’s alternative arrangements, but it is worth noting that this version of Grainger’s most popular piece, Country gardens, is not just an arrangement of the piano version, but as he explained himself “a new piece in every way”. I was fascinated that the Faeroe Island Dance in this late band version of 1954 has a pivoting ostinato for horns that echoes the opening of Vaughan Williams’s Fifth Symphony, before launching into the dance proper with echoes of The Rite of Spring. The merry King is hardly merry at all, with a ruminative part for piano, a setting of a folk-song which Grainger collected in 1905 in the then evidently rural setting of Wimbledon! This fun disc makes a most welcome addition to Chandos’s Grainger Edition.

-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [9/1997]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Country Gardens by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Timothy Reynish
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
2.
Irish Tune from County Derry "Danny Boy" by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Timothy Reynish
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
3.
Shepherd's Hey by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Timothy Reynish
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
4.
Hill Song no 2 by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Clark Rundell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901-1907 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
5.
Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Clark Rundell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
6.
Let's Dance Gay in Green Meadow "Faeroe Island Dance" by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Clark Rundell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
7.
The Lads of Wamphray March by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Clark Rundell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907/1938 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
8.
Merry King by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Clark Rundell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
9.
Molly on the Shore by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Clark Rundell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
10.
Colonial Song by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Timothy Reynish
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911/1918; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
11.
Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Timothy Reynish
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937-1938; USA 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 
12.
The Gum-Suckers' March by Percy Aldridge Grainger
Conductor:  Clark Rundell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1911; England 
Date of Recording: 12/1996 
Venue:  Manchester, England 

Sound Samples

Hill Song No. 2: Hill-Song No. 2
Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon: Ye Banks and Braes o'Bonnie Doon
Let's Dance Gay in Green Meadow: [Faeroe Island Dance]
Lads of Wamphray March
Irish Tune from County Derry
Shepherd's Hey
The Merry King
Molly on the Shore
Country Gardens
Colonial Song
In a Nutshell: IV. The Gum-Suckers March
Lincolnshire Posy: No. 1. Lisbon [Dublin Bay]
Lincolnshire Posy: No. 2. Harkstow Grange
Lincolnshire Posy: No. 3. Rufford Park Poachers
Lincolnshire Posy: No. 4. The Brisk Young Sailor
Lincolnshire Posy: No. 5. Lord Melbourne
Lincolnshire Posy: No. 6. The Lost Lady Found

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