Vaughan Williams - Prelude to The 49th Parallel for Trombone Ensemble
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Arranger Russell McKinney has written the following about Prelude to The 49th Parallel for Trombone Ensemble by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
In 1940, Ralph Vaughan Williams was in his late 60’s and already a well established composer when he undertook his first film score. It was for an award winning 1941 British WWII film The 49th Parallel (initially released in America as “The Invaders”).
The Prelude is the opening credits music and the first piece in the orchestral suite of music that RVW fashioned from the full film score. In 1942, RVW wrote to Harold Child, a successful British writer and editor, to request that he write a text for the music to be adapted into a song. In a letter now in the British Library's collection, RVW asked for “something high falutin’ ‘noble and sentimental’” and included his own rather comical “nonsense verse” to demonstrate the meter and suggested rhyme scheme. He closed his letter to Child with the comment, “I do hope you will feel like it - it might be a popular success.”
Child obliged and provided two verses under the title of “The New Commonwealth," the title the piece known by in its choral adaptations by RVW.
This work is appropriate for advanced intermediate performers with moderate demands on range and technique.
This arrangement is printed published and distributed and for sale in Canada by Cherry Classics Music.
The beautiful studio recording of this arrangement is by the arranger Russell McKinney performing all of the parts.