Heaton - 'Music for Brass Sextet'

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by MoominDave, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'm suggesting this as a programming idea for a flexible orchestral group I fix the brass and play for. I do like Heaton's stuff, and particularly the full band version of the Toccata, which was reworked from this original for 6-piece.

    The trouble is that information on this is hard to come by... What is the instrumentation of the sextet? Is it published? [I note that the Dyke recording is listed as being from a manuscript copy] How long does it last? [One source lists 6'50", another lists 11'!]

  2. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    According to the Wilfred Heaton Trust site here www.wilfredheaton.fsnet.co.uk the piece is published by SP & S (although not very recently I suspect!)

    It makes no mention of instrumentation, although listening to the recording I would hazard a guess at 3 B flat cornets, tenor horn, baritone and euph. Can't hear any troms or tubas in there. And 11 minutes sounds excessive to me.

    The man to ask for definitive answers is, I would say, Paul Hindmarsh, here www.paulhindmarsh.com

    You might also be interested to know (if you don't already) that there is also a Heaton quartet, originally (I think) for trumpets and trombones but which Hindmarsh has rescored for standard brass band quartet. This one is almost certainly NOT published.
  3. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Sorry to contradict you, but although the WH Trust site you mention does list the publisher of Toccata as S.P.&S., the music for brass sextet (look under "Instrumental") is listed as being published by the Wilfred Heaton Trust.

    The instrumentation as listed on the Dyke recording is 2 cornets, tenor horn, baritone, euphonium & Eb bass.

    I have been in contact with the trust on a number of occasions over the past 2-3 years attempting to obtain the music, but with no success. On one occasion an e-mail was answered with a promise to contact me when parts became available; all other e-mails have gone unanswered.

    Best of luck! If you have any success, please post details here?
  4. Warderloo

    Warderloo Member

    I think the original is for two cornets in Bb, horn in Eb, bari, euph and bass in Eb and is six or seven minutes long. The piece isn't published, but as Jim suggests, Paul Hindmarsh or the Heaton Trust could help. The band version was published by the S.A. in the 1970's...it's a favorite of mine too and hearing it played on one of my Dad's Enfield Band records is one of my earliest musical memories! 'Wilf' helped get my Dad up to scratch for his music diploma in the early seventies and did keep in touch with him. We got in contact with WH about ten years ago to ask about the original sextet, but he had no idea as to it's where abouts as he'd not seen the score for years.
    I can't guarantee their authenticity but I've a little bit of background information about the piece. It was written in the late 1930's as part of set of new pieces to be played by a SA sextet's trip to the USA. It of course features the Spiritual which would have been well known by the American audiences. The piece wasn't played on the trip as it was seen to be two "difficult" for the players and audiences. It certainly didn't fall in line with general SA musical style of the day, but as well as WH wanting to do a "proper job" with composing even the simplest of pieces, I suspect that that very talented 21 year old was being a little mischievous with the establishment! WH mentioned to my Dad that after it was rejected he was given a list of suggestions that could "improve" the piece...cheeky! Whatever the tales, I imagine the other pieces played on the tour haven't been heard of seen since. The band version appeared in the late 1960s (I think there maybe a first recording of it with the ISB...) and in the same form albeit with a few changes, including that 'fff' major chord at the end! Maybe someone in the S.A. know could shed some light on when WH re-scored it? Given it's date, style and works written around it (it wasn't long before his Piano sonata which turned out to be the amazing 'Partita') I don't it's too much of a exaduration for it to be considered one of the earliest and best brass chamber pieces.

    If you have trouble finding the original, there is a good symphonic ten-piece brass version by and available from Dennis Wick and of course the band version is at SP & S.
    As for other Heaton pieces the Trust will known more, but there's the quartet Jim mentioned, octets and/or nonets (for JS Versatile Brass?) as well as a recent brass quintet (commissioned by Fine Arts Brass). Do let me know if you have any joy, I'd be interested to hear!
  5. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Quite right. I stand corrected. I must read things more carefully!

    Right again! I think I'll shut up!
  6. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Well, the programming meeting will have been held in my absence tonight; we'll see if they went for it - and if they did, it sounds like I might have quite a challenge on my hands finding the dots... If they didn't, well, I'll be more informed next time I suggest it...

    Thanks for all the information, it's very informative. :tup
  7. nigeb12

    nigeb12 Member

    would have thought Howard Snell is the man to speak to.
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    ... although Howard Snell is no longer directly associated with the Wilfred Heaton Trust.

    From the WH Trust Website: "Howard retired as a Trustee in 2004 following his relocation to France and upon his realisation of Wilfred's final and valedictory music statement - Variations"

    According to the website, the current trustees are Bryan Stobart, Paul Hindmarsh, Micheal Beard, & Trevor Caffull.
  9. nigeb12

    nigeb12 Member

    Maybe not but he's a very knowledgable guy. Still, it was only a suggestion.