IRELAND A Downland Suite

A Downland Suite is a 1932 composition for Brass Band in four movements by John Ireland. It has also been arranged for string orchestra and various other instruments. The English composer John Ireland wrote the work in 1932 for the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain at a time when original pieces were regularly commissioned for major contests. It has the dedication "to my friend Kenneth Wright." The winning band on this occasion was the Fodens Motor Works Band, under the baton of Fred Mortimer. The suite is a pictorial depiction enshrining the composer's love for the Sussex downs and has been described by Donald McLeod as "sunnily bucolic". In keeping with its intention as a contest piece, the suite is both technical and expressive, and is complicated and difficult to read; even a trained score-reader needs to take care to decipher it. This leads to the bandmaster having great control over the arrangement. WIKIPEDIA

 VIDEO: GUS (KETTERING) BAND-GEOFFREY BRAND. This piece was used as the test piece for the 1932 Crystal Palace National Brass Band Championship, won that year by Fodens Motor Works Band conducted by Fred Mortimer. In fact Fodens won the Crystal Palace Championship 7 times between 1930 and 1938.


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