The song “Es kam ein Herr am Schlössli“ is a lullaby from Switzerland. It can be found in the Sammlung von Schweizer Kühreihen und Volksliedern under the title “Wiegenlied“. The story is about a gentleman riding up to a castle and asking the Lady if her children are nice or naughty. The lady replies that they are naughty. Then the gentleman rides off and replies that for nice children he would have had gifts. Questions arise like: who is this man? Why would he have presents for nice children? Why would you sing this to children who are going to sleep? Therefore the title: Sleep Well, with a dark sarcastic undertone.
This work has been commissioned by the Swiss Army Brass Band and is not yet available for sale.
The Water is Wide is a Scottish folksong also called O Waly Waly. It depicts the challenges of love. “Love is handsome, love is kind” during the novel honeymoon phase of any relationship. However, as time progresses, “love grows old, and waxes cold.” Even true love, the lyrics say, can “fade away like morning dew.”
Now is the month of maying is one of the most famous of the English ballets, by Thomas Morley published in 1595. The song delights in bawdy double-entendre. It is apparently about spring dancing, but this is a sexual metaphor. For example, a “barley-break” would have suggested outdoor sexual activity (rather like we might say a “roll in the hay”). The use of such imagery was very customary during the Renaissance.
Soaring the Sky is a short piece in a typical brass band style with influences from popular music. It captures a feeling of freedom: a feeling of flying in total harmony with your surroundings. To soar literally means flying without propulsion, furthermore, it means to ascend to an unknown height.
This piece is best performed in a special seating plan, with the cornets rows facing each other standing behind the saxhorns, the trombones are placed behind the tubas. For extra effect, a drumkit can be placed in the centre of the band. This way the antiphonal character is best utilized.
Sic Parvis Magna (Thus from small beginnings, great things come) is the motto of the explorer and sea captain Sir Francis Drake. Although his life is not undisputed, his development from 13-year-old deck cleaner to vice-admiral of the English fleet is an inspiration. Drake sailed around the world three times, the first time as a 23-year-old pirate with his cousin John Hawkins.
The heroic Maestoso sections portray the high spirits of a journey over the sea. Although there is always the outlook of danger, and memories of home and loved ones.
A shard of glass has a hard surface that reflects light. It also refracts light, giving a kaleidoscopic effect, although its edge can also be sharp as a razor. The musical language in this work represents the hard, sharp and kaleidoscopic features of shards of glass.