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Canons and Cadenzas

By David Bedford

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Concert band (Piccolo, Flute 1, Flute 2, Oboe, Bassoon, Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet 1, Bb Clarinet 2, Bb Clarinet 3, Eb Alto Clarinet, Bb Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone 1/2, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Horn in F 1/2, Horn in F 3/4, Bb Trumpet ) - grade 5
Composed by David Bedford. Band Music. Score and parts. Duration 16:00. Published by G & M Brand Music Publishers (CN.R10179).

Item Number: CN.R10179

After a slow introduction, "Canons and Cadenzas" takes off and features just what the title implies - a collection of canons and cadenzas featuring every section of the ensemble. Bedford masterfully layers motive upon motive and canon upon canon creating an unparalleled melodic and rhythmic drive.

This piece was commissioned by Frederick Fennell as a memorial tribute to his friend and colleague, clarinetist Peter Hadcock. The title describes the piece perfectly. There are several canons, each using different sections of the main theme which is presented after a slow introduction. The first canon is fanfare-like and uses the last four notes of the theme. The second canon has an accompaniment from the tuned percussion that is itself a canon. During the second half of this section, the bass instruments have a canon of their own. There follows a slow section where the canonic idea is varied by the sections of the theme being piled on top of each other. The first four bars only have one line, the first four bars are played with the second four bars, and so on until eight tunes are being player simultaneously. The next canon ises the whole main theme, builds up into eighth parts then dies away again. The cadenzas which follow are themselves in canon and go through all the main instrument groups: flute/piccolo; bass clarinet; oboe; E-flat clarinet; trumpet; B-flat clarinet. Each cadenza ends with the player repeating a very fast note group over and over, until all the other cadenza players arrive at the end of their cadenza. The effect should be a huge flurry of notes. A reprise of the main theme (not in canon), leads to a quiet coda, with reminiscences of the earlier canons dying away to nothing.

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