The Pacemakers (Concert Overture)


Programme Note

This work was commissioned in 1970 for a brass band championship sponsored by WD and HO Wills, whose slogan was The Pacemakers. The title was added after the work was finished and has nothing to do with the content or character of the piece which, as Paul Hindmarsh remarks, is ‘arguably the most satisfying in purely musical terms of all of Gregson’s early compositions for band’.

The Overture is cast in a sonata form exposition, with a slow central section, giving the opportunity for expressive cornet and euphonium solos. The final section begins with a strict fugal exposition which leads to a recapitulation of the opening material and a powerful climax built on the opening pyramid of fifths, which remains unresolved.

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Work Details


First Performance

  • Date: 1970
  • Venue: Leicester
  • Performers:
    Various bands