Macarthur Park

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by dyl, May 22, 2003.

  1. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    I recently listened to one of my old brass CDs - Grimethorpe's Classic Brass. One of the tracks on it is Alan Catherall's excellent arrangement of 'Macarthur Park'.

    I seem to recall someone mention on here a while ago that this arrangement is only for Grimethorpe's use, so I've had a look for other arrangements of the song.

    I've come across two - one by Adrian Droiver and the other by Alan Fernie.

    Has anyone played either of these, and if so which would you recommend?


  2. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    They're both good in different ways, and with all respect to the two fine arrangers, neither has the brilliance of Alan Catherall's arrangement.

    Adrian Drover worked with Maynard Ferguson so his has an authentic touch, but it's also quite thinly scored and so it's harder to get that full big band sound. Fernie's is probably safer but has lots of good touches and is the one we settled on for our summer programme last year.

  3. amgray

    amgray Member

    The venerable StraightMute

    Straightmute, it's always interesting to read your posts, but David

    - GET OUT MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:

    By the way, interesting wrist movement on the avatar :oops:
  4. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    I'm sure we're playing the Catherall arrangement of Macarthur Park at the moment. I'll double check tonight and let you know if this is correct.
  5. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Thanks guys
  6. BoozyBTrom

    BoozyBTrom Member

    Alan did write McArthur Park especially for Grimethorpe. It was that exclusive an arrangement ( in the begining ) that he gave them the originals and never kept a copy for himself.

    As with all things copies leak out.. there are several rogue photo copies out there ( thud as Roger Thorne faints )

    So It may be possible that people do have it. Surprisingly we at Ever Ready dont. We would like to get hold of it as we are making a CD of Alans Music this year and it should be on the CD. But there are many fine peices fighting for a place on it.
  7. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Re: The venerable StraightMute

    Get out more? That's rich coming from a b****dy scientist! I'll have you know that I'll be in the One Eyed Rat tommorow night, while you're sulking into your overpriced southern electric soup. And I'll be out gigging with my trumpet, while you probably can't even find your 'bone, let alone remember what to do with it.

    Any more abuse from you and I'll sack you from my Fantasy Band!

    You like the avatar? Everone seems to think its a conductor. Sssssh - I found it on a very naughty site!

  8. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Talking of unusual conducting styles, did anybody else see Thursday's Daily Express? There was a piece about some over-exhuberant conductor, (from Bristol I think), who was conducting his band though Land of Hope and Glory and managed to impale his free hand with his baton. :shock: Went straight though and snapped off. Ouch!! :? Did any tMPers out there witness the event or know the person involved?.

    If Alan Catheralls arrangement of McArthur Park is not available then he should certainly release it. He must be sitting on a gold mine. Its an absolutely fantastic piece, I personally can't think of any 'Pop music' arrangement better than this. I would certainly love to have a go playing it.
  9. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Nope it wasnt the Catherall arrangment it was the Peberdy. Sorry.
  10. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    and that arrangement isn't the best in the world either! :D

    but ... it'll doo .... it's such a great tune .....


  11. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Ah well! I think we'll try the Alan Fernie arrangement!
  12. amgray

    amgray Member

    Re: The venerable StraightMute

    I will say I was pleased to be in your Band Selection so I'll recant!! :lol:
    And yes - I'm jealous about not having several pints in the One Eyed Rat. As for knowing what to do with it, the spirit is willing and knowledgeable but the flesh is weak and underpractised, but one day soon..................
  13. blondie

    blondie Member

    As some of you have already said, the Catterall arr. is absolutely stunning, and is definately one of my favourites. We at Wem tried out only for the second time (any of my fellow Wemians correct me if i'm wrong), the seemingly not very well regarded Peberdy arr.

    I do not wish to offend anybody, (as i will admit quite openly, i couldn't arr. anything if my life depended on it), but i thought that it certainly lacked that "Special Something" and just didn't do anything for the band.

    I would like to get hold of the Catterall arr. at some point, but for now the Fernie seems a popular choice.

    Mr B.Londe
  14. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Not so sure that thin scoring has much to do with getting a big band sound - personal preference on this one is Adrian's arrangement - having done the original Maynard version, his arrangement is more authentic (assuming it's a Maynard feel you're after of course). Personally, I find some of the better big band arrangements are those that are not overscored - the big sound of Maynard's band at Ronnie Scotts last night was achieved with a 10 piece band (incl. the rhythm section). (was anyone from the forum there this week?)


  15. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    You're not wrong Andy. What I was trying to suggest was that the thicker scoring for brass band instruments is geenerally more likely to recreate the power of a big band brass section. It seems unlikely that we'll ever find a quartet of cornets who could match the sound of a big band's trumpet section, and even if they could would they then be able to cope with Irish Blessing as the encore? But with a full cornet section we may get closer.

    As I said, Adrian is the more authentic, Alan probably the safer option (for non-specialist players). Alan has made his arrangement idiot proof...
    and I enjoy them both!

  16. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    I have just arranged MacArthur Park, it's wild and very eciting to play and listen to, I've totally gone to town with it and really done things with it the other arrangers of the tune didn't do.

    I will be selling it for 40.00 Pounds once copyight comes through in 3 to 4 weeks from Music Sales Ltd, If ya wanna buy a copy, email me at and I'll reserve you a copy.
  17. amgray

    amgray Member

    But you know the old adage - make it idiot proof and someone will invent a better idiot :shock:
  18. alks

    alks Member

    I know this is an ancient thread, but which version of MacArther park is better for lower section banding?

    The versions available seam to be

    1. J. Peberdy
    2. A. Drover
    3. A. Fernie
    4. Barry Forgie

    Ive heard the Catherall version (not available) which is great, so which avaialble version is closest to it in style?

  19. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    To confuse the issue I understand that there is now an arrangement by Philip Sparke which must be worth considering!

  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    All of them would have to be heard to see what is required from the original. It must be remembered that Adrian Drover charted the piece for the Maynard Ferguson band.

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