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King Across the Water

By Bruce Fraser

King Across the Water
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Concert band (All wind players play tambour drums, Flute 1, Flute 2, Oboe*, Bb Clarinet 1, Bb Clarinet 2, Bb Clarinet 3, Bb Bass Clarinet*, Bassoon*, Alto Saxophone 1*, Alto Saxophone 2*, Tenor Saxophone*, Baritone Saxophone*, Horn in F 1, Horn in F 2, Bb Trumpet 1, Bb) - grade 3
Composed by Bruce Fraser. Band Music. Score and parts. Duration 6:15. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.R10162).

Item Number: CN.R10162

Explosive! Cast in three major sections, King Across the Water treats the traditional Scottish folk-song "Johnnie Cope" as a fanfare ("Battle"), a lyrical song ("Lament"), and a reel ("Dancing"). Many of the woodwind players will have the opportunity to serve as percussionists during the "Battle." Both audience and ensemble will enjoy this exciting presentation of the tale of Sir John Cope.

This work is based on an event in the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie. He had returned to Scotland and was gathering about him an army heading south towards England, which had sent Sir John Cope to fight with him. The traditional folk-song "Johnnie Cope" is the basis of all the themes in the work. Charlie attacked the English at Prestonpans outside Edinburgh - this is represented by "Battle" - where the theme appears as fanfares and battle shrieks. There followed a period of mourning as the English had been massacred - "Lament" - in which the theme is fragmented into long sustained phrases. The Scots rejoiced and celebrated in Edinburgh - "Dancing" - where the theme is the original used as a reel. The Tambours referred to in the Woodwind parts can be a diverse collection of drums, even home-made. A simple yet effective drum can be made from a plastic tub or bucket with polythene stretched over the open end and held in place with elastic bands to create the tension. Otherwise, any sort of tom-tom, bongo, or unsnared drum is suitable.

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