Programme Note

Equale Dances for brass quintet (which is really my second quintet for brass) was commissioned by Equale Brass, with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain, and was first performed by them in 1983. The structure of the piece is similar to that of another work of the same period scored for brass band, namely Dances and Arias. It uses alternating fast (Dances) and slow music (Arias):

The opening Toccata (a fast but majestic dance with changing time patterns) is followed by Aria 1 (a horn solo over an ostinato accompaniment for trombone and tuba), with a middle section which uses overlapping contrapuntal lines. The ensuing Scherzo is short and frenetic, and uses a piccolo trumpet for heightened texture.

Aria 2 is in the manner of a funeral march for two flugel horns with simple chordal support, whilst the ensuing Burlesque is a highly-charged dance, fragmented in its rhythmic and melodic gestures.  It leads without a break into a reprise of the opening Toccata.


Written: 1983


Genre: Brass Ensemble

Publisher: Novello

Duration: 15'