Edward Gregson’s previously unpublished piece, Birthday Prelude for Brass Band, composed in 1982 to mark the 80th birthday of Harry Mortimer, and performed again in 2015 at the North American Brass Band Championships to celebrate the 80th birthday of Gregson’s brother, Bram, has now been published by Morthanveld Publishing, with a dedication to Harry and Bram.
Of the piece, Gregson recalls:
I was aware of course of the Stravinsky Greetings Prelude, also based on Happy Birthday … I wanted mine to be celebratory but without being too obvious in quoting the whole tune; thus it uses various phrases of
A new disc of Edward Gregson’s instrumental music is to be released on Friday 9 April on the Naxos label. The CD was recorded in September 2020 at Hallé St Peter’s in Manchester, with soloists from the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, accompanied by pianist Paul Janes.
Regarding the choice of repertoire, which includes Three Matisse Impressions, Serenata Notturna and Divertimento, Gregson writes:
… I wanted to reflect my life-long interest in writing instrumental music. From my earliest dabbling as a teenager, through my student days when I wrote what is really my Opus 1 (Oboe Sonata), to