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This composition was created for an exhibition about the 41 men from the small english village of Rainow (where I live) who died during WWI. The piece has 3 movements: The village wakes; Into battle; No return. The first movement starts at dawn with the village waking and then moves into the main theme in D major. The second movement begins with the call to war and stays in a single key over oboe ostinatos the brass lines begin to stress into dischord as the battle intensifies. During this section a church bell chimes 41 times - once for each of the men who died. the final movement returns to a quieter village a piano and clarinet express the loss before returning to the main theme - life goes on, but this time in a minor key.

It took 3 months to complete from initial writing to final mix.

 

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Hello Nigel.

Well, it's a nice piece, enjoyable and an achievement to produce a 12-minute work. I really liked the generally thin texture. it gave the instruments a chance to speak out. I wasn't too sure about one you used in the first movement. At some points it sounded like an oboe but went too deep to play expressively so then it became a cor anglais and at the close of the movement, if it was the same instrument, like a bass oboe.

I admit to preferring the 2nd and 3rd movements. The church bell which you keep subdued came over very well.

Just my personal feelings, it could perhaps be trimmed a little - but, hey, it's your work and you need take no notice of that.

Well done.

Bests,

Dane

Thanks Dane, I wrote the cor anglais part before I really understood its actual range and voicing. I used miroslav philharmonic and it didn't limit the range. Also you'll notice that a real player would expire as I didn't leave any room for them to take breaths!

I've learned more since then!

Nigel

Very nice.  I could picture the scenes easily from the music and I can really appreciate the creativity and symbolism for what you were trying to convey.  The bell is such a great feature.  I really like that movement.  

Doug

Hi Nigel, this is very well done, at times quite pretty, and suitable to the topic of the composition. To me, the second movement is the standout of the piece. That forward motion with the percussion scoots it along at a good pace. Thanks for sharing!

Gav

Thanks doug the bell was one of my favourite ideas in the piece but it was more complex than I anticipated fitting 41 in the movement without sounding too programmed.

Douglas Locke said:

Very nice.  I could picture the scenes easily from the music and I can really appreciate the creativity and symbolism for what you were trying to convey.  The bell is such a great feature.  I really like that movement.  

Doug

Thanks Gav - I'm a big fan of pieces that stay in the same key with the rhythm driving forwards and that's what I was aiming for with the second movement.

Gav Brown said:

Hi Nigel, this is very well done, at times quite pretty, and suitable to the topic of the composition. To me, the second movement is the standout of the piece. That forward motion with the percussion scoots it along at a good pace. Thanks for sharing!

Gav

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