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Maritime Overture, A


Genre: Band
# of Players: Standard
Level: 5 | Duration: 10:00
Publisher: G & M Brand | Copyright: 1988

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    Cast your self into a storm at sea with this fantastic piece from John Ireland. Turbulent rhythmic motives launch A Maritime Overture to blend into a more lyrical melody contrasting the opening. Don't be fooled though; the first rhythmic motive provides the underlay, a reminder that the calm surface of the sea is only masking the swirling water underneath!

    Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
    Level: 5 | Duration: 10:00

    1st Flute
    2nd Flute
    1st Oboe
    2nd Oboe
    1st Bassoon
    2nd Bassoon
    Solo Bb Clarinet
    1st Bb Clarinet
    2nd Bb Clarinet
    3rd Bb Clarinet
    Eb Alto Clarinet
    Bb Bass Clarinet
    Bb Contra Bass Clarinet
    Eb Alto Saxophone
    Bb Tenor Saxophone
    Eb Baritone Saxophone
    Bb Bass Saxophone

    Solo Bb Cornet
    1st Cornet
    2nd Cornet
    1st Bb Trumpet
    2nd Bb Trumpet
    1st F Horn
    2nd F Horn
    3rd F Horn
    4th F Horn
    1st Trombone
    2nd Trombone
    Bass Trombone

    Percussion [2 players] (Triangle, Castanets, Side Drum, Cymbals, Gong)

    Program Notes
    A Maritime Overture was written in 1944 and published in 1946. This edition was published in 1988. The score was prepared from the composer's full draft by Norman Richardson, and uses the same material as "Tritons" - a Symphonic Prelude for orchestra dating from the early 1900s. The development of the material however is different in each piece.

    The work is conceived in F major - but it is 24 bars before Ireland establishes this tonality. Fortissimo chords of B-flat major open the work, and the Overture hovers between G minor and B-flat as a restless rhythmic motif is introduced.

    As soon as F major is finally established it is contradicted as the music fragments, but the key is allowed a further 4 bars to consolidate before more lyrical interplay leads to a second idea, introduced by flutes and oboes in C major.

    Marked 'espressivo e ben cantando' this is a complete contrast to the opening, although the first rhythmic motif provides the underlay - a reminder after the opening storms that the calm surface of the sea is only masking the swirling water underneath.

    A Maritime Overture has a freer approach to form than say the first movement of a symphony might allow, enabling Ireland to introduce a totally new central section marked 'poco meno mosso' in F minor. A bold cornet (not trumpet) heralds this new idea, in a passage marked 'with freedom' and perhaps for the only time there is a true tranquility in the sextuplet accompaniment.

    Thus the restlessness is suspended, but not for long, as the opening storm returns and a recapitulation allows the F major theme and the second theme - this time in the sub-dominant (B-flat) - to reassert themselves.

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