Arthur Butterworth - Mancunians

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by davetubaking, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. davetubaking

    davetubaking Member

    I've always been fascinated by the idea of an original work for Orchestra and Brass Band but always suspected it would be very difficult to make it work musically.

    Anyways, I discovered today that Arthur Butterworth has written a piece for Large Orchestra and Brass band in 1995 called "Mancunians". According to AB's website it only exists in manuscript but was performed by The Halle Orchestra and the Scottish CWS Band in 1995.

    Does anyone know anything about it, performed it or heard it?
  2. Chis

    Chis New Member

    Yes, I think 1995 is correct - we (CWS Glasgow) performed this along with The Halle (Kent Nagano) for an international Co-operative conference in the Free Trade Hall Manchester in September of that year, repeated the following night at the opening concert of The Halle season. It was rather musically challenging but great fun rehearsing and performing along with the orchestra and Kent Nagano. We also performed the Pines of Rome along with the Orchestra during which, if memory serves me correctly, several string players threw in the towel in the latter staves due to the sound of full orchestral brass plus brass band becoming somewhat, ahem, overwhelming.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  3. its_jon

    its_jon Member

    I have a lot of respect for the work of Arthur Butterworth.. some excellent original brass band works.

    Here is a recent work for brass band and orchestra..seems to work well.
  4. davetubaking

    davetubaking Member

    That's fascinating Chris. Can you remember much about the music? How long it was? was it in movements? how did it compare to his other BB works? I don't suppose there was ever a recording of it kicking around?
  5. Chis

    Chis New Member

    Largely lost in the mists of memory I'm afraid. A fairly lengthy piece I think and I do vaguely remember the opening and closing sections being jagged in rhythm and somewhat discordant with some pleasant slower quieter passages in between - this is not meant as discourtesy to composition or composer, its only what little I remember! I couldn't even say whether we have retained copies of the manuscript in our library.

    I see the link in the previous post references music by Chris Brown - a former "Co" cornet player.
  6. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    I thought that William Walton included a brass band Belshazzars Feast. As I recall the story Sir Thomas Beacham told him that he might as well include a band as the piece was unlikely ever to be performed
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    The "brass bands" in Belshazzar do not equate with what we understand as a brass band, consisting simply of small groups of extra brass players.

    As for other pieces involving band and orchestra, I seem to remember Rodney Newton wrote one for performance by a scout band and orchestra.
  8. I seem to recall there's an Organ Symphony kicking around where the band assume the organ part.
  9. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Didn't Andy Duncan write something similar? Also about the history of Manchester?
  10. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Arthur Butterworth? Surely not. Butterworth's music is rather bleak but his musical language is conventional. It reminds me at times of Sibelius. I always liked Edward Gregson's description of Butterworth's music -he said that it "speaks of the north".
  11. Statto

    Statto Member

    From Andy's website

    In 2000 he took on a major commission from the Hallé to compose a work about the history of Manchester. The result was 'A Tale of Two Empires' a twenty-six minute work written for the huge forces of large orchestra and brass band. which was first performed in 2000 with the Hallé. The piece received a further performance in 2001.
  12. simonium

    simonium Member

    Digressing, I very much enjoyed Butterworth's Maoriana (First Section area piece 1994 I believe) and found it to be rhythmically, melodically and harmonically interesting. I'll admit to being an utter novice at the time. Unfortunately nothing I've heard by him since has been even remotely as good, disappointingly.
  13. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    I recommend the Passacaglia on a Theme of Brahms. Also, the Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel, although this is an arrangement of the original by Brahms, but a really sparkling score.
  14. simonium

    simonium Member

    Already got it!
  15. davetubaking

    davetubaking Member

    Of the Butterworth I know I very much like Caliban - Scherzo Malevolo and the Three Impressions and the recent Trumpet Concerto with Brass Band which you can catch here. I didn't think much of the concertante for Euph & Baritone. Of his orchestral works the Viola Concerto is excellent.
  16. davetubaking

    davetubaking Member

    I was at college with Andy. I'd love to hear that. Recording anyone?

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