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Sadly, Grainne passed away on November 16, 2014 - just days before reaching her 15th birthday.
She was actually born on the 22nd - St Cecilia's Day, patron Saint of Music and Musicians - so her unique spirit will still live on in this, her music.
Otherwise, the programme note below will remain unaltered.
Grainne is, in fact, a lovely soft-coated Irish Wheaten Terrier, who lives with my dear friends, Peter and Roberta, in Bramstedt, a small hamlet south of Bremen, Germany.
Grainne na Dun na nGal, or simply Grainne for short, exhibits all the characteristics of this particular branch of the terrier breed, but also has a unique personality - a lovable, affectionate nature blended with the mischievous fun of the Leprechaun or Little People - a true ’Princess’, then! Hopefully this Air & Jig will conjure up a picture ’in sound’. You could always check out the ’real McCoy’, by calling by, or simply by visiting Grainne’s own website. And, of course, you’ll be able to hear the Jig whilst you’re there, and enjoy all her news and pictures, too - especially the latest adventures of the Wheaten Wagtime Band!
Just to give the piece a little authentic flavour, you might notice a couple of Irish ’tunes’ thrown in for good measure!
The original version was for flute or descant recorder & piano, but this is a special arrangement for wind quintet. West Winds, a local quintet based in and around Plymouth, has already premiered my arrangement of The Lone Ar-ranger!, and so it seemed a logical move to make a similar arrangement of Princess Grainne’s Air & Jig for them. This is based on the recent string quartet version, specially written for the Callino Quartet from Ireland, but the extra melodic line has allowed me to make some additions along the way! The bass clarinet part has been asked for, as an alternative to the bassoon - it is largely the same, except where the bottom register is concerned.
Until such time as a recording can hopefully be arranged,the attached MP3 file is ’courtesy of’ Garritan Sibelius Edition.
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 SibeliusMusic.com.