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The Londonderry Air
£7.50 – £10.00
- composer: Traditional arranged by Frank Bridge/Robert Rainford
- instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F, Bassoon
- skill-level: Intermediate-Advanced
Frank Bridge arranged this well known Irish air for string quartet, here presented in a version for wind quintet. Unusually, Bridge starts the arrangement with an extended fantasy upon the main theme, never stating it completely. A series of stabbing chords begin the music, and help to mark out the start of each section. Elements of the tune then weave in and out of the music, and are passed equally between all five players. The first four notes of the theme in rhythmic diminution are transformed into a delicate arpeggio that permeate the music,all accompanied with the lush chords of early 20th century English music. After about one hundred bars the music reaches an impassioned climax and a dramatic pause before the tune is finally stated in its full form, with each instrument in turn taking a solo phrase accompanied by the others. A final, peaceful coda using the delicate arpeggio of the first sections brings the piece to a close.