On Friday 27 January, at the Royal Northern College of Music’s Brass Band Festival weekend, Edward Gregson will be conducting the Black Dyke Band in the world premiere of his new work for brass band, Four Études. In the same concert Richard Marshall, principal cornet of the Black Dyke Band, will perform Gregson’s recently written Cornet Concerto. Richard Marshall is also the dedicatee of this new concerto and gave the world premiere at the European Brass Band Festival in Lille, France, in 2016.
Gregson’s Four Études were written during August and September 2016. In them he stated that he wanted to primarily explore the elements of timbre, rhythm, texture and colour. The first three Études (or Studies) are based on a set of piano pieces he composed in 1982, whilst the last, the longest of the set, was composed specially. Its title, Aleppo, is a musical expression of the human tragedy which was unfolding in the Syrian city at the time he was writing the Etudes.
The work was commissioned by Black Dyke Band and was written specially for the CD recording marking the conclusion of his year as Composer-in-Residence. This CD will be released at the end of January at the RNCM Brass Band Festival.