The Four Elements (Partita for Solo Euphonium and Brass Band) - Martin Ellerby - brass band set

Reference:  SMSM23
Stock:  In stock In stock

The EuphoniumStore is proud to introduce a stunning new work from the pen of Martin Ellerby. This is a very advanced work for very mature performers!

Martin Ellerby: The Four Elements (Partita for Solo Euphonium and Brass Band) Commissioned by and dedicated to the Black Dyke Band (Musical Director Professor Nicholas J. Childs) and Gary Curtin (euphonium) with funds made available by the John Golland Trust.

This is the version for euphonium and brass band.

Composer Martin Ellerby writes:

"The first performance was given by these forces in the RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester, on 23 January 2015 as part of the RNCM Festival of Brass.

The Four Elements was written for Gary Curtin and the Black Dyke Band as part of a recording project of my music for brass band, released in 2015.

Having previously written a large scale concerto for the euphonium I decided to write something much more concise though still enabling the soloist to display flair and lyricism in equal measure. I aimed at around two minutes per movement, which meant I would be creating a set of miniatures, and based each on one of the four elements of earth, water, air and fire though they are primarily given their Latin names of terra aqua aer ignis in the score. The term is used to indicate that the work is a collection, or suite of pieces, and in keeping with former examples uses both song and dance forms to provide suitable musical structures.

1. Terra (Earth) an intrada set in ABABAC form in which A, for the band, is built on a 12 note row, B is a duet between the soloist and elements of the band and C an enigmatic . The ‘elemental’ interval of a perfect 5th proves dominant in all aspects of the opening movement.

2. Aer (Air) cast in the form of a fleeting scherzando - the music makes play between the rhythmic possibilities of contrasting common and compound time signatures giving it an unsettled edge.

The flavour is light and breezy, possibly somewhat oriental in manner.

3. Aqua (Water) a lyrical interlude or intermezzo , where the soloist has more of a free reign to their lines and the band support in a delicate legato style.

4. Ignis (Fire) - the virtuosic fianel celebrates the spirit of a pagan dance. Much use is made of mixed metres and the cornets and trombones remain muted throughout giving a metallic quality to the ensemble. Just prior to the climax proper there is heard a fiery statement of the traditional Dies Irae (‘Day of Wrath’) melody in the form of a band interlude.

One other point of interest is that of the percussion section which I have tried to vary in each section, acknowledging their vital contribution to the overall sound world. ‘Earth’ has darker combinations of timpani, marimba, bass drum, a low suspended cymbal and tam-tam. ‘Air’ utilises two antiphonally placed glockenspiels, a bright suspended cymbal and triangle. ‘Water’features delicate tuned percussion consisting of vibraphone, a ‘guest’celesta, crotales and a binding mark-tree. ‘Fire’ exploits most of what has not gone before with rhythmic, punchy bongoes, side drum, xylophone and timpani plus a set of tubular bells, cymbals and tam-tam in the closing stages."

This version here is with Brass band accompaniment and the piano accompaniment set is also available on this site

Duration: approx 9.25minutes

Difficult: 5-6/6

Supplied with brass band score, full set of brass band parts and solo part in TC and BC

Publisher: Studio Music, UK

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