Can-Can alla Rossini! (Brass Quintet)

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Can-Can alla Rossini! (Brass Quintet)


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
3 minutes
Classical music
License details
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STOP PRESS: Please scroll to the end of this note for important information about which PARTS you may require!

One of the first scores I submitted to SibeliusMusic was The Lone Ar-ranger!, back in 2001, shortly after I first got hold of Sibelius.

That piece has still been probably my most popular one, and has spawned numerous version and arrangements, from Accordion Orchestra to Wind Band, and Bassoon Quartet to a vocal version.

The problem with such a piece is that it’s hard to come up with something similar - but, of course still different.

In January 2007 I started looking at a possible alternative - the equally well-known Can-Can from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.

However, it’s remained in a virtual ’embryo’ state ever since!

This Christmas, Dad and I fully intended returning to our favourite Monkbar Hotel in York, but decided against risking travelling on the icy roads. This gave me some spare time to play with, so I thought I’d resurrect the piece.

Whilst it’s essentially the same type of potpourri piece as The Lone-Ar-ranger, there are a number of different challenges, because of the harmonic construction, which meant it wasn’t as easy to achieve. Furthermore, while I have used the odd tune-snippet again, I have tried to come up with new material!

As with The Lone Ar-ranger, I’ve started with a piano duet version which, if successful, will be added to with various other arrangements as before.

The title is deliberate! I have mingled the Rossini William Tell theme both with parts of the original Offenbach, as well as the other tunes used - as if the Rossini was trying to get in on the act! The ending nearly allows the Rossini finish to win over, but ultimately France wins over Italy!

It might not be as ’good’ as its predecessor - or it might even be ’better’. There have been many ’one-work’ composers throughout history, so if Can-Can alla Rossini! doesn’t make the grade, I won’t be too disappointed! It’ll be different, though.

Either way, it was a project that needed completing!

As before, I have included a trombone part in the Treble Clef - other transpositions are no problem, if desired - just ask!

N.B. In the present economic climate, a good number of smaller ensembles understandably buy just the set of parts as, in reality, these alone are all that is needed in performance. Equally, a similar number buy both the parts and the full score. To compensate for this, I intend to reduce the cost of the full score by $4, and increase the price of the lead part by $3, a differential that wasn’t available to sellers at the former

Following an email from Luke Denton, who says: ’We’re based in the small village of Oughtibridge, just outside of Sheffield, we are five of the principal members of the local brass band who are wanting to bring a different aspect to the bands concerts.’, I have made a special arrangement to accommodate Luke’s particular requiremts - he uses Cornets on parts one and two, a Tenor Horn on the original French Horn part, a Trombone (treble clef) for Trombone, and plays the Tuba part on Euphonium.

When I looked at arranging this, there was a distinct advantage in bringing Luke’s version up a tone, so that the notes ’missed’ by losing the Tuba would be minimized. BUT the parts are thus NOT interchangeable!


Trumpet 1 and Trumpet 2 Horn in F (or Tenor Horn [replaces Horn in F) Trombone (or Trombone [TC], if a treble clef version is preferred) Tuba

(This version is in the key of Eb concert)

OR buy:

Cornet 1 and Cornet 2 (special arr.) Tenor Horn (special arr.) Trombone (TC) (special arr.) Euphonium (special arr.)

(This version is in the key of F concert)

Currently there is just one full score, which supports the original Brass Quintet version (in Eb)

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