Capital Region Wind Ensemble Performs Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy”
“Why this cold-shouldering of the wind band by most composers? Is the wind band—with its varied assortments of reeds, its complete saxophone family that is found nowhere else, its army of brass—not the equal of any medium ever conceived? As a vehicle of deeply emotional expression it seems to me unrivaled.” —Percy Grainger in his program notes for “Lincolnshire Posy”
For those of us who love the timbres and blended colors produced by the wind ensemble, Percy Grainger’s work is not unfamiliar. One of the most important pieces for winds and percussion that continues to stand the test of time and generations is Lincolnshire Posy; a work that is considered by many to be Grainger’s magnum opus. If you haven’t heard a live performance, I encourage you to make time on Sunday to attend the Capital Region Wind Ensemble’s 2014-2015 season finale, which has the work as its centerpiece.
Percy Grainger (1882-1961) was a celebrated pianist and composer, a pioneering folklore collector, musical inventor, social commentator and archivist. He, like Hungarian composers Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók, was a collector of original folk melodies. His compositional career was quite a lengthy one—the half century from the end of the 19th century into the mid-1950s—and produced two main categories of published works: (1) original works and (2) folksong settings.
Lincolnshire Posy was composed in 1937 is a suite with six movements:
- Horkstow Grange
- Rufford Park Poachers
- The Brisk Young Sailor
- Lord Melbourne
- Lost Lady Found
The material for the suite is taken from folk songs that Grainger collected on a trip to Lincolnshire, England in 1905 and 1906. Each movement is intended to be a musical portrait of the singer who sang the song for Grainger in Lincolnshire. Grainger strove to notate the individuality of each singer’s rhythm, phrasing and tone. As a result, the piece is full of odd meters and frequent tempo shifts and is often considered one of the most difficult pieces in the wind ensmble repertoire. With its complex rhythms and harmonies, its ground-breaking notation and its ingeniously beautiful orchestrations, Lincolnshire Posy remains an inspiration for many composers to write for wind ensemble. Grainger, indeed, proved the wind ensemble has all the range of emotion and color of a symphony orchestra, and … perhaps more.
Now if you need another reason to go hear the Capital Region Wind Ensemble on Sunday, here’s another: Maestro Brett L. Wery has programmed David Maslanka’s fanfare Mother Earth, Ray Cramer’s Fantasy on Sakura Sakura, a transcription of Morten Lauridsen’s Contre Qui, Rose, John Philip Sousa’s Willow Blossoms, and the opportunity to bring CRWE’s principal bassoonist, Dr. Edward S. Marschilok to the forefront as the soloist in Carl Maria von Weber’s Andante and Hungarian Rondo (Op. 35). Weber’s charming piece was originally written for viola, but later reworked for bassoon at the request of Georg Friedrich Brandt, the same bassoonist for whom Weber’s Bassoon Concerto was written. A native of Troy, Marschilok performs with a number of ensembles throughout the region. As we generally see just the top of the bassoon rising out of the woodwind section and not necessarily the player, it’ll be nice to see Edward Marschilok perform front and center!
With fond memories of rehearsing and performing under the ever-inspiring Frederick Fennell, I’ll leave you with him leading the United States Navy Band and bid you to go and enjoy the sounds of the Capital Region Wind Ensemble!
Friday, May 29th 2015 at 1:00 pm
Friday, May 29th 2015 at 7:00 pm
Friday, May 29th 2015 at 9:00 pm
Sunday, May 31st 2015 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, May 31st 2015 at 6:00 pm
Saturday, June 6th 2015 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, June 13th 2015 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, June 13th 2015 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, June 14th 2015 at 3:00 pm
Tuesday, July 14th 2015 at 10:00 am
Saturday, July 18th 2015 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, July 18th 2015 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, August 1st 2015 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, August 15th 2015 at 8:00 pm