|A large-scale work written for full symphonic band.
The work introduces a simple hymn tune that, after a short bridging passage,
is offered in five variations with a closing coda section. The variations form
was chosen to show off the potential of wind bands, their tone colours, moods
and technical possibilities in a single, coherent work of one movement.
The usual instrumentation applies, except that there are no cornet parts, the
2nd oboe doubles on cor anglais, and the 3rd clarinet
doubles on alto clarinet.
Alto clarinets are rare so the part is cued in other instruments, but the
part would be best played on that instrument. It is used during the fourth
variation where a clarinet quartet is needed since during some passages the
tenor line is too low for a Bb clarinet, bands usually not having two
bass clarinets. The part is cued into the 2nd clarinet (up an octave
for the few notes where necessary) enabling bands without access to the
instrument can still perform the work.
Cor anglais rarely feature in bands so access to the instrument may be
difficult, therefore its part is also cued. It appears during the double reed
quartet sections of the fourth variation.
There is an Eb clarinet part; it can be dropped if there is no
access to an instrument, but it is hoped that one player will be on the part.
The work is playable by bands of good standard and above. There are four
clarinet parts - the players should be distributed evenly between them.
Although written for large band there are many cues to allow the piece to be
played by bands with smaller forces.
Hymn without words was written to offer to the wind band movement the
type of music that has been available to brass bands for many years. You can read more about the writing process behind
Hymn Without Words here.
You can listen to an MP3 of a Garritan
Personal Orchestra rendition of this setting.
Price/Difficulty code: A