Best brass band arrangement/transcription of orchestral work

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Dave Payn, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Maybe a bit of a pointless exercise (a phrase Carlisle United fans will be familiar with....) but purely out of curiosity, I was wondering what the forum consider their favourite, and/or most effective band transcriptions of orchestral pieces. I don't have a particular favourite that stands out, but there are a number I could mention:

    In no particular order of merit:

    The Sorceror's Apprentice (Dukas arr. Bourgeois)
    The Pines of Rome - complete (Respighi arr. Snell)
    Four Dances from Checkmate (Bliss arr. Ball)
    Four Dances from the Nutcracker Suite (Tchaikovsky arr. Sparke)
    Variations on a Theme of Haydn (Brahms arr. Nash)
  2. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    i think Firebird by Stravinsky has been done well, can't remember who arranged it but it's good, and Elsa's Procession to the Minster is also very good.
  3. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Firebird - Ray Farr, I believe.
  4. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    could be, i was too bothered about crmaming all the notes in in the right place to see who arranged it!!
  5. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    correct.. it is Ray Farr and there's a lot of cramming!

    that coronation theme from one of Borodin's is quite good too..
    (in his usual vague way of missing details.. )
  6. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    There is a cracking arrangement of Shostakovich's Festive Overture out there by Peter Kitson.

    Crown Imperial also works well, by Framk Wright.

    There are so many good ones its hard to pick a favourite.
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Boris Godinov for me, anyway (arr Littlemore) - very good transcription.
    Daphnis & Chloe - Howard Snell
    Bacchanale from Samson & Delilah - Ray Farr
  8. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    Oh and Snell's Procession to the Minister.
  9. The King of Wise

    The King of Wise New Member

    Le Roi d'Ys - Lalo arr. Frank Wright.

    Other classics include:-

    Le Carnaval Romain - Berlioz arr. Frank Wright
    Daphnis & Chloe - Ravel arr. Howard Snell
    The Planets - Holst arr. Stephen Roberts

  10. Razor

    Razor Member


    I remember playing an arrangement of the bacchanale but I'm sure it was arranged by Dr Keith Wilkinson.

    Reason I remember is that it was played in programme given at a local SA corps and the conductor went into great detail about the background to the piece - apparently a bacchanale was a sort of orgy!!

    Ray Collins
  11. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    There are a couple around, I think. The one I've got was recorded by Imps under Ray, and I assumed it was his - I'll check tonight :lol:

    Edit: I've just checked the listing on Midland-cd-club and they credit the arrangement to "A. Walker" - anyway, it's a good 'un :lol:
  12. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    At Rothwell, we have just recorded onto CD (it's out next week) a very rare arrangement by Michael Antrobus of the Allegro from Shostakovich 10th Symphony. Terrific transcription: if you want to hear it, email me and I can get you copy.

    Also, does Sandy Smith's arrangement of 'Stingray' count?! :lol: That is a top arrangement

  13. Ben Williamson

    Ben Williamson New Member

    i think the best arrangers of orchestral pieces are howard snell and frank wright.

    my favourite pieces are snell: Pines of rome and procession to the minster
    wright (frank):Force of destiny (a monster piece!) and Roman Carnival Overture.

    however Rimmer's arrangement of Hungarian Rhapsody 2 is also a fantastic piece!

    but the there is also 1812 overture, but i cant think who did this magnificant arrangement, but best played without cannon fire! :shock:

    i could go on and on and on there are so many!

    Ben x
  14. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Pictures at an exhibition - Snell (as on the CD of the same name), I don't think its been officially released as a score (not suprised it half an hour long!, long past your average brass band concert goers attention span! :D ), however I still think its superb, I actually prefer it to the Orchestral recording I have of it, it seems to have a lot more depth and Great Gates of Kiev just knocks spots of the cat-scratcher/tree-blowers version :D
  15. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    If I'm correct, it isn't a Howard Snell arrangement but Elgar Howarth's band version of the transcription he did for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble - that's another good recording, if you can ever get hold of it (I think it's recently been re-released on cd with some other bits and pieces).
  16. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Are we still playing Mornington Crescent? :D

    Don't know is the answer.. perhaps someone can enlighten us.
    BTW The Sop is superb (someone said it was David King)
  17. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    I know that elgar howarth arranged it for Phillip Jones Brass Ensemble, but I'm not sure if that's the same CD as the one mentioned above!

    Phillip Jones Greatest Hits is the recently released one, I say buy it, it's amazing. They almost play borage as well as I do! :wink:
  18. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Fodens recoreded Pictures... in their Britannia days. Arranger: Elgar Howarth, conductor: Howard Snell.

  19. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    The Howard Snell/BBS recording of Pictures is indeed, Elgar Howarth's arrangement. And yes, the PJBE's recording of Pictures is on a compilation entitled (highly original this...) Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Greatest Hits, though I believe it's only purchaseable via the Internet.


    Ann O'Rak (Ms)
  20. Aidan Geary

    Aidan Geary Member

    What about 'The Enigma Variations'?!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously though - Eric Ball did a great transcription of the Overture to Elgar's 'The Dream of Gerontius'.

    There's also Boelmann's 'Suite Gothique' which works well if you have a monster bass section.

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