Arts Council in the Belgian district of Kontich, the home town of the
composer Jan Van der Roost. It is an interesting composition in which
the history of this Belgian community is depicted in sound. The opening
reminds one of the advance of the Roman army, whilst the dynamic
development is full of vitaliy!
in 1695, no British composer of any statue was apparent. Consequently,
the break-through of Edward Elgar (1857-1934) as an internationally
known and respected composer at the end of the last century, was of
considerable importance. As a composer Elgar was largely self-taught
and he looked towards the continent for his inspiration. He is without
doubt on par with his contemporaries such as the somewhat younger
Richard Strauss. The Belgian composer Jan Van der Roost is a genuine
admirer of Elgar’s music and on the occasion of the fiftieth
anniversary of the composer’s death in 1984 he composed the “Ceremonial
March”. Van der Roost was inspired by the most famous and frequently
played works from Elgar’s catalogue of works, the characteristic “Pomp
and Circumstances” marches, and decided to add his own, sixth march to
the existing collection.
band of Jan Van der Roost's village (= Kontich near Antwerp / Belgium).
In 1991, this community band celebrated its 100th anniversary. After
composing commissioned pieces from different countries (even from
Japan), this was the most 'near' commission he ever received indeed!
It is a short but varied piece, featuring all sections of the band.
After a short introduction, played by the brass instruments, a crisp
rhythm starts and boxes the main theme. After a second theme, played by
brass and percussion, a short melodical passage brings some 'rest'. At
the end, the fanfare of the introduction reoccurs.
Although this "Centennial Prelude" isn't a really demanding piece, it
sounds colourful and energetic. It has been recorded on CD by the band
of the 'Royal Dutch Airforce' and the 'Desford Colliery Brass band'.
“Harmonie St. Cecilia” in Oudenburg, Belgium, and is dedicated to its
conductor, Arne Wyntin.
The first part is rather quiet and pastoral in character, and is
written in a gently rocking 12/8 time. The tranquility of the area
around the medieval town of Oudenburg, a rustic region not far from the
North Sea, is expressed in a striking fashion. After a beautiful
orchestral climax, the second part begins, which is inspired by the
Roman past of Oudenburg. A somewhat oppressive and impending
introduction leads to the musical reflection of an army parade:
Oudenburg was a so-called “castellum,” and the remains of the fortress
are still visible in the current town plan. A more dynamic passage
follows featuring the low brass. After that, the solemn rhythm of the
parade is recaptured, culminating in a triumphant ending.
band on request of Robert Leveugle, chairman of the composer's own
band: Brass Band Midden Brabant (Belgium). The direct cause was a visit
to the beautiful cathedral of the English city Canterbury, in which so
many fine compositions sounded throughout the centuries. Later on, Jan
Van der Roost rescored this piece for symphonic wind band, exploring
the full richness of colours of this formation. Besides solo phrases
for several instruments, there are some massive tutti passages making
the wind orchestra sound like a majestic organ. By the way: an "ad
libitum" organ part adds an extra richness, colour and power to this
piece, making it sound even more broad and grand.
suite made up of typical Latin American dances. The movements
‘Cha-Cha-Cha’, ‘Calypso’ and ‘Samba’ are colourfully scored for wind
band. The piece is of intermediate difficulty and pays special
attention to Latin American percussion instruments.
commissioned by the Music School of Gaillon - Aubevoye (France) for the
celebration of the twentieth
anniversary of its creation. Jan Van der Roost dedicated the piece to the director of the school: Thierry Patel.
As in his earlier work, Puszta, the composer makes no use of existing
dances or themes in these three Balkan dances. This high-spirited suite
takes its own approach to the folk music of the Balkan countries and is
characterized by unique changes in tempo and spirit. Woodwinds, brass
and percussion all have equal parts, making this suite attractive and
enjoyable for the entire band.
describe the sudden entrance into another world. After these initial
measures, we hear a choral-like melody, which is repeated three times
in different instrumentations with increasing intensity. This
represents the procession of the ghosts dwelling in the underworld of
Avalon, headed by the mighty magician Merlin.
The exalted sound is then suddenly interrupted by a fast movement, in
which ostinato figures alternate with bi-tonal motives. This represents
the attempt of some evil characters to invade Avalon. Mordred is the
leader of this horde and together they disturb the peace and quiet in
the otherwise calm Avalon. The flourish of trumpets heralds the
entrance of the Knights of the Round Table who drive away the intruders
and return to their castle, Tintagel, in a triumphal procession. Upon
their return, the next problem presents itself. An inexplicable disease
plagues the resting ghosts.
The Knights and the Council of the Wise are convened to find out the
cause of this problem. Musically this can be heard in the repetition of
the initial themes. The Knights and the Council of the Wise determine
that the presence of mortals is the reason that the resting ghosts are
suffering. There is simply no room for mortal souls in Avalon. After a
powerful statement by King Arthur, we hear a glissando referring to the
very first measures, and… we are back in the normal world. The journey
through the underworld has come to an end and a dream is over.