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Topic: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    One of the most endearing works of Jean Sibelius is his Opus 26, "Finlandia". It was originally composed as a part of a set of tone poems and was quickly caught up by the Finnish people as a beacon in the nationalism surrounding the concerns over Russian and its claims of ownership of the regions.

    The original orchestral setting was later transcribed by Sibelius for piano. Here I have further transcribed the piano reduction for low brass choir consisting of four euphonium and four tuba parts. Because the piano work reflects the orchestral score it is highly virtuostic in some places. It was therefore necessary to reduce the overall complexity into more chordal structures in some places such that it would be playable by the low brass instruments but still maintain the sprite of the original work. Here it is rendered using Finale 2006 and the CMB library;

    www.garybricault.com/mp3/SibleiusFinlandiaLowBrass.mp3

    As an added bonus I am including it's premier performance by the Eastman School of Music's Tuba Mirum (http://www.esm.rochester.edu/ensembles/tubamirum.php). This low brass ensemble consists of nine euphoniums and a mix of 9 tubas performing a wide variety of music from the classics to contemporary. This performance took place in the beautiful Kilbourne Hall on the evening of Novmeber 19, 2007.

    www.garybricault.com/mp3/SibeliusFinalndiaTubaMirum.mp3

    The Tuba Mirum performance is copyright (c) 2007, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  2. #2

    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    Hi, Gary

    wow--here you are again with another work which is so unusual and interesting. You rather amaze me.

    I've always had a bit of a problem with low register instruments becoming soloists - I know it's not fair probably, but I always find myself wanting the other registers to come in. I have such a strong Need to hear the whole spectrum of frequencies in music. Rather pedestrian of me. And Tubas especially can be so comical trying to hold the spotlight, no offense to Tuba players who are in our midst.

    THat being said, I still enjoyed listening to both versions of your "Finlandia" arrangement. It is a composition full of such intelligence shining through its given boundaries.

    Hey - that live version--they used cc1 a LOt--lol---One of the hallmarks of analogue real-world instruments coupled with their players, - dynamics galore.

    But the CMB version was a fine starting point also.

    You're a man on a mission, Gary, and looks to me you're accomplishing it!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  3. #3
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    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hi, Gary

    wow--here you are again with another work which is so unusual and interesting. You rather amaze me.
    Thanks Randy. The low brass really is a not so well understand aspect of the music instrument family The challanges and rewards of writing for it are considerable.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    I've always had a bit of a problem with low register instruments becoming soloists - I know it's not fair probably, but I always find myself wanting the other registers to come in. I have such a strong Need to hear the whole spectrum of frequencies in music. Rather pedestrian of me. And Tubas especially can be so comical trying to hold the spotlight, no offense to Tuba players who are in our midst.
    It is an unexpected performing medium for which a great a mount of material has actually be created. Just as with the saxophone quartets that I have presented recently, the low brass ensembles perform as great range of music that one would never expect would even be attempted. Work ranging from "Symphony Fantastique" to modern compositions, even music from Super Mario Brothers, has been programmed in the past year. But it does take a little getting used to, no "high notes" as such. But within its range some really lovely harmonic sounds.
    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    THat being said, I still enjoyed listening to both versions of your "Finlandia" arrangement. It is a composition full of such intelligence shining through its given boundaries.
    Of course the challange if writing with enough spectral spread to not sound to muddy, or too high and incure that rath of the euphoniums The tubas at least have some options as to which instrument to use to best fit the performing range for a given work.
    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hey - that live version--they used cc1 a LOt--lol---One of the hallmarks of analogue real-world instruments coupled with their players, - dynamics galore.
    And low brass can produce some of the widest ranges!!! Kirlboune is a small performing hall, wonderfully suited for groups like this. A nice full space seating around 300, but not so large as to create the cavenous echoes of the really large halls. The space fairly well range at the aburpt cutoffs in the beginning. I rather chilling feeling that I am sure Sibelius would be well pleased with.
    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    But the CMB version was a fine starting point also.

    You're a man on a mission, Gary, and looks to me you're accomplishing it!

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)
    Thanks Randy. I am glad that you enjoyed this, a classic work performed in a rather unusual setting.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  4. #4

    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    Oh, oh, I wish I'd listened to this sooner. Finlandia is one of my all-time favorite songs. The passion, anguish, pride, despair, and hope, all rolled into one! And wow, low-brass: best possible instrument(s) for this piece. They fit the roll of this song perfectly, everytime I hear this, I want to go destroy the Soviet Union, then I realize, It's already gone...

    Anyway, I really love this. Great arranging, it doesn't lose anything from the orignal version, if anything, it only gains! (except perhaps that awesome timpani roll, but that's the percussionist coming out in me) Really, I can't say enough about this, low-brass: perfect! There isn't a better choice! Okay, now I'm just being redundant, let me end this reply now. I can't compete with rbowser's insightful comments
    Michael Obermeyer, Jr.
    youtube channel
    soundclick page

  5. #5

    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    The Eastman players did a gorgeous job of it with this
    fine adaptation, Gary. You must be beaming.

    Once again, if someone had mentioned the idea to me,
    I think I would have dismissed it with "er, well, yes,
    very nice idea; now go get one that would actually
    work"... lol.

    But this -- I would just love to be sitting in the room
    with this one, hearing it live.

    My best,


    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  6. #6

    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    Well, as an old trombone/euphonium player, I applaud you, Gary! This arrangement is just terrific! Well-conceived and edited while still leaving ample opportunity to display virtuosity. Your CMB technique is becoming something special, and you consequently are offering up some very special works.

    The "live" version was really, really, really good, too! Those darn kids at Eastman think they can play, don't they?? You should've recorded more of the applause though, Gary ... I was about to join in (another proud moment for you, no doubt, and deservedly so!).

    Great stuff!

    Danny

  7. #7

    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    Gary -

    This was GREAT!!

    Your composition showcases the low brass just wonderfully!! I listened to both version. First, very nice job on rendering the first version. I thought it sounded just fine by itself. Then I heard the live version. The brass players captured your composition with their playing beautifully!! I bet you were beaming from ear to ear with their performance!

    It's a great number. I love the sound of the low brass. I don't remember if I've ever heard a piece written just for low brass before. However, I am grateful to have listened to this wonderful composition. It broadened my "ears" and provided me with another splendid choice for future compositional ideas of my own. In other words, not only did I have a pleasant listen, I also had a pleasant learning experience. With this, I thank you!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    Ted

    Edited to add: I agree with Danny with this. . . you should have recorded more of the applause after the end of the live performance! More applause!!
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  8. #8

    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    Gary--

    EXCELLENT work! And I NEVER complain about high register parts.
    At this link you can find 3 pages of snippets from a recital I did in '06
    (too busy gigging to give "recitals" these days). Might give you some ideas for future efforts. I had posted these earlier, before you arrived on the forum, but they might give you some food for thought.

    You might want to post the Eastman performance at the dwerden.com forum (former service-band euph player) and at TubeNet (forums.chisham.com). Lots of players hang there.

    There is a large ensemble, SYMPHONIA, which you can see at

    http://www.dwerden.com/Symphonia/menu.htm . Right up their alley!

    This ought to be published and widely performed.

    Jim
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Wilton, NH
    Posts
    2,450

    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    Another great arrangement. I listened to the CMB version and thought “pretty good” but then I heard the Eastman version and had to say “Wow!” Sounds great.

    My only surprise was that Snorlax’ response was so restrained – I expected a little more verbiage explaining how euphonium arrangements are often better than the originals due to the amazing sound of the chosen instrument. Maybe he thought that would be redundant after listening to this….
    Trent P. McDonald

  10. #10

    Re: Sibelius - Finlandia for low brass using CMB

    Quote Originally Posted by trentpmcd
    Another great arrangement. I listened to the CMB version and thought “pretty good” but then I heard the Eastman version and had to say “Wow!” Sounds great.

    My only surprise was that Snorlax’ response was so restrained – I expected a little more verbiage explaining how euphonium arrangements are often better than the originals due to the amazing sound of the chosen instrument. Maybe he thought that would be redundant after listening to this….
    As we say in court, Trent: Res Ipsa Loquitur, the thing speaks for itself!

    Sampled or live, does it get any better??

    Wishing you a Merry and Euphonious Christmas!!

    Snorlax
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

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