Song Without Words (Holst)Song Without Words (Holst)
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Song Without Words (Holst)

Mvt. 2 from Second Suite in F arranged for percussion ensemble by John Herndon
Level: Med-Easy
Duration: 2:20
Personnel: 7-9 players
Release Date: 2018
Delivery Method: Physical
Product ID : TSPCE18-016
Price: $35.00
Item #: TSPCE18-016

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Description

Gustav Holst was one of the most renowned English composers of the 20th century. His two suites for military band are now staples in today’s wind ensemble repertoire. Tapspace artist John Herndon has done a fantastic job of adapting the second movement of Holst’s Second Suite in F for percussion ensemble and piano.

Based on the Cornish folk song I’ll Love My Love, this movement lulls and swells its way through the key of F-minor in order to portray the turbulent emotions of lost love. Herndon has orchestrated this movement brilliantly, capturing the essence of Holst’s original piece, with the percussion now taking center stage.

Song Without Words comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing an audio recording and all individual parts available for printing.

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • 2 vibraphones
  • 2-3 marimbas* **—(1) 4 octave, (1) low A, (1) low C
  • 2 timpani**

* If 3 marimbas aren’t available, this piece can be performed on 2 instruments with M1 and M3 sharing a low A instrument and M2 and M3 sharing a low C instrument.

** The timpani and Marimba 4 parts are optional

Reviews

“Song Without Words,” the second movement from Gustav Holst’s Second Suite in F, is a true standard in the wind band repertoire. John Herndon takes this dark, haunting music and sets it beautifully for keyboard ensemble with timpani. The provided materials include program notes, a very clear set up diagram, a nicely engraved score, and all parts on a CD. The timpani and marimba 4 parts are listed as optional, though they provide the foundation of the sound and should be included if possible, in my opinion.

I do not necessarily need to describe the musical content, as this work is so well-known. From a technical perspective, many parts are often doubled (or even tripled), which could benefit weaker players in the ensemble. The marimba parts include single-note rolls throughout much of the piece. The glockenspiel and vibraphone players carry the melody along with the right hand of the piano. It may be helpful, if you do not have a strong piano player, to have the director play the piano part and act as a performer/conductor. Though no single part is terribly challenging, the F-minor key signature may cause issues for younger players. Dynamics are very clearly marked in the parts and create the proper balance when performed as written.

I highly recommend this piece for an early percussion ensemble looking for something lyrical and expressive, but not too incredibly technical. It would work great for a percussion ensemble that has played the Second Suite in F in band and wants the opportunity to recreate this movement.

—Justin Bunting
Percussive Notes 
Vol. 57, No. 3, July 2019

Description

Gustav Holst was one of the most renowned English composers of the 20th century. His two suites for military band are now staples in today’s wind ensemble repertoire. Tapspace artist John Herndon has done a fantastic job of adapting the second movement of Holst’s Second Suite in F for percussion ensemble and piano.

Based on the Cornish folk song I’ll Love My Love, this movement lulls and swells its way through the key of F-minor in order to portray the turbulent emotions of lost love. Herndon has orchestrated this movement brilliantly, capturing the essence of Holst’s original piece, with the percussion now taking center stage.

Song Without Words comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing an audio recording and all individual parts available for printing.

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • 2 vibraphones
  • 2-3 marimbas* **—(1) 4 octave, (1) low A, (1) low C
  • 2 timpani**

* If 3 marimbas aren’t available, this piece can be performed on 2 instruments with M1 and M3 sharing a low A instrument and M2 and M3 sharing a low C instrument.

** The timpani and Marimba 4 parts are optional

Reviews

“Song Without Words,” the second movement from Gustav Holst’s Second Suite in F, is a true standard in the wind band repertoire. John Herndon takes this dark, haunting music and sets it beautifully for keyboard ensemble with timpani. The provided materials include program notes, a very clear set up diagram, a nicely engraved score, and all parts on a CD. The timpani and marimba 4 parts are listed as optional, though they provide the foundation of the sound and should be included if possible, in my opinion.

I do not necessarily need to describe the musical content, as this work is so well-known. From a technical perspective, many parts are often doubled (or even tripled), which could benefit weaker players in the ensemble. The marimba parts include single-note rolls throughout much of the piece. The glockenspiel and vibraphone players carry the melody along with the right hand of the piano. It may be helpful, if you do not have a strong piano player, to have the director play the piano part and act as a performer/conductor. Though no single part is terribly challenging, the F-minor key signature may cause issues for younger players. Dynamics are very clearly marked in the parts and create the proper balance when performed as written.

I highly recommend this piece for an early percussion ensemble looking for something lyrical and expressive, but not too incredibly technical. It would work great for a percussion ensemble that has played the Second Suite in F in band and wants the opportunity to recreate this movement.

—Justin Bunting
Percussive Notes 
Vol. 57, No. 3, July 2019



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