Fantasia on British Sea Songs

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 4thmandown, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. 4thmandown

    4thmandown Member

    With Trafalgar Day coming up, does anyone know of a better arrangement of the Henry Wood than the somewhat dodgy Denis Wright?
  2. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    good idea to ask here

    Ive only ever played the Wright one and its (hmmmmm) "lovely" ;) - hope theres a better one

    then again - if there is why do we all play that one?
  3. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    Whatever you do, don't ask the BBC to do it!

    For one brief moment this year, I thought we were going to be treated to the original version including bugle calls. :rolleyes:
  4. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    nah got Denis Wirght one. There should be another one this ones too hard :|
  5. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    Well there's the Gordon Langford one but it doesn't much follow the selection of tunes that the BBCSO play at the Last Night.

    Still, if some budding arranger out there can get permission from the copyright owner (as Sir Henry Wood's arrangement is still copyright for just over 9 years - I think Warner Chappell are the owners but Boosey and Hawkes represent the Chappell orchestral catalogue for hire and licensing) maybe another band version could be done.

  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure who arranged the version we use, but I'm pretty certain it's a "brass & reed" version. The main problem is that it is somewhat overscored, with the trombone quartet doubled in other parts etc. We get round that one by using three troms with a flugel on the top line - we've not got a trom who'd be safe up there! - and that works quite well.
  7. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    We played the Dennis Wright version last night at our concert and it went down superbly! Mind you it does help when you have a Musical Director who goes into the audience and gets everyone clapping at the same time speeding some sections of the piece up to and possibly over 200! Audience loved it though.
  8. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    Audiences always love it because they recognise it and can join in! The 'Fantasia' certainly has a place in the repertoire, but I do agree it's time for a really good brass band arrangement. No disrespect to Dr Denis but bands have come a long way since then.

    An interesting point to consider about copyright... I think Boosey would find it very hard to enforce copyright law if you were to just construct a fantasia with all the tunes in the same order, as all the tunes are either traditional or public domain. After all, the Henry Wood original has been so mauled about over the years I doubt if most people actually know how it goes anymore - I certainly don't! Most bands and orchestras make at least one cut, sometimes more... the trombone quartet has disappeared from the BBCSO in the last couple of years... for a long time they used the Malcolm Sergeant arr. of Rule Brittania at the end... If an arranger were to do a 'Sea Songs' medley that just happened to have all the tunes we wanted in the same order, I think Boosey would be out of their minds (and pockets) to try sueing for damages.

    The other question is... How many bands will, or can, spend money on a new version of a piece they already have, when most of the audience won't notice the difference?

    Slider1 likes this.
  9. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    This is a very good point Dave. I have a new arrangement sitting here on my desk (complete with all Bugle Calls and a Sargent-esque Rule Britannia) and I am trying to work out whether it will be worth the time and money!

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