(Written in 1995)

Overture for wind band.


pic / 2fl / ob / 2clt / bassclt / bsn / ATBsax / 2hrn / 3trpt / 2trb / eup / tuba / 3timp / perc(2).

[Perc – s.drum/ b.dr/ trgle/w.blk/c.cym/s.cym] 

Timing: c.5 mins.

Programme notes:

    After a short introduction, featuring loud, tutti chords alternating with fugato woodwind passages, the first main theme is announced by the alto saxophone – a slow, legato melody in 12/8 over a quick staccato accompaniment. Soon 12/8 gives way to a faster and more hectic 4/4 with a new, cheeky theme in the trumpet. After this is repeated in augmentation and with fuller scoring, we come to a slow chorale for trumpet , two horns and trombone. The still centre of the work, this is the only appearance of this chorale. A new, lilting 6/8 theme is announced by solo bassoon. Almost naïve in its nursery-like simplicity, it goes through a few variations before we arrive at a reprise of the opening and repeat of the alto saxophone theme. This time the shift to 4/4 is slightly different and we are led to a passage in which the trumpet theme (in augumentation) and the 6/8 theme are heard together over swirling woodwind semiquavers. As this dies away, a solo piccolo seems to want to let the piece fizzle away into silence, but five bars of furious Presto finish the piece in appropriate style. I hope the piece will impart a sense of rhythmic energy and fun, and also implying, with the slightly absurd “chugging” accompaniments, a feeling of slapstick ridiculousness.


  • March 1995: Goldsmiths College Wind Ensemble, conductor Samuel Becker.