SHADOWS AND WINDY PLACES
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"I seemed to move among a world of ghosts
And feel myself the shadow of a dream."
Crossing the North Downs on a foggy day it is easy to ignore the landscape's twentieth century veneer and to imagine, in the swirling mists, the ghosts of the countless generations who have travelled these ancient "high ways".
The imagination can rebuild a long barrow over the lop-sided circle of Coldrum Stones and can picture this terrace on the open hillside as a focus of community activity. Approaching Meopham and catching sight of the sails of the windmill the shifting mists suggest that the mill still turns. On the Thames-facing slopes the sound of the London-bound traffic on a hazardous journey recalls the danger of travel. Travellers of another era risked a meeting with "Swift Nicks" Nevison who raced away to York to establish his alibi but still met his death on the gallows in 1685.
The pieces in the Festival Series were written to provide opportunities for recorder players of different abilities to play together. They can all be played by small groups, even one to a part, but they were originally intended for mass-playing - over 300 players on some occasions. The scoring for the series is:
- an elementary soprano part on a limited number of notes -
- an intermediate soprano part requiring more notes but still rhythmically straightforward -
- an intermediate alto/tenor part using the octave G to G'; rhythmically similar in standard to the soprano part -
- more advanced parts for sopranino, soprano, alto and tenor (and also optional bass). These are more chromatic and use syncopations. The sopranino part is the most challenging.
Details of the technical requirements for each piece are given in the preface of the score:
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