Occasion


Programme Note

Occasion was commissioned and published in 1986 as the test piece for the Youth Finals of the Boosey & Hawkes National Brass Band Championships, held that year in the Royal Albert Hall, London. The material was drawn from three different sources: Fanfare was written in 1981 as a wedding present for his friend and fellow composer Paul Patterson; Elegy and Dance was commissioned a year later for a new brass band competition in Scotland, whilst Festivities was freshly added to complete the Suite. As Paul Hindmarsh has commented: ‘It is a true occasional work and seems to summon up all the ingredients of Gregson’s early style in a thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly coherent fashion, given the circumstances of its creation’.

Festivities, cast in ABA form, projects a highly rhythmic idea with dissonant syncopations before giving way to a more lyrical melody before its return. The intense Elegy unfolds a modal folk-like tune which, after a brief introduction, is heard on flugel horn, then euphonium, before building to a powerful climax – the melody now being heard on the full band, then subsiding to a reprise of the introduction. The exuberant Dance is the composer’s tribute to Malcolm Arnold – again in ABA form, its exuberant main tune in 7/4 time is contrasted with an elegant melody, interrupted by echoes of the dance tune, before a repeat of the dance tune and a brief coda bring the work to its joyful conclusion.

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Work Details

  • Date of Composition: 1986
  • Publisher: Novello
  • Available from: Studio Music
  • Genre:
  • Duration: 11'
  • Instrumentation: brass band
  • Commission Information:
    National Youth Brass Band Championship of Great Britain

First Performance

  • Date: October 1986
  • Venue: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
  • Performers:
    Various bands

Recordings


Concerts


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