Music for Greenwich was commissioned in 1980 by the Greenwich Theatre, London, for a new production of Peter Buckman’s play ‘All Together Now’.
In this play, about a down-at-heels brass band in the North of England brought to a new level of self-confidence and achievement by an incoming conductor, the whole cast performed a test piece on stage every night (i.e. Music for Greenwich), in readiness for a competition which they have entered and, of course, win. Although the play is as much a social commentary as anything to do with music-making, every member of the cast had to be able to play a brass instrument to a greater or lesser extent (a difficult challenge for the casting Director!).
For obvious reasons, the music is not technically difficult, although I have tried to make it interesting. The work is structured as follows: a brief fanfare-like opening is followed by an allegro section, rhythmic and playful; a slow lyrical section is then introduced (a suitably nostalgic melody featuring solos for cornet and trombone), before a return to the fast music, a hint of the fanfare, and finally a climactic flourish to round things off. This is music to be enjoyed, as hopefully it was every night by the audience and actors alike.
The piece is so full of interesting features and is typical of Edward Gregson’s compositions. In its textures it has pomposity, fragility, beauty and rhythmic intensity.
Terry Hext, The British Bandsman, February 1982