English Dances, Book One
Malcolm Arnold (trans. Johnstone)
This work bears the designation Opus 27.
Year: 1950 / 1965
Duration: c. 8:35
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Lengnick & Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $152.00 | Score Only (print) - $29.00
1. Andantino - 2:55
2. Vivace - 1:45
3. Mesto - 2:30
4. Allegro Risoluto - 1:35
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Snare Drum
- Tubular Bells
- Wood Block
- Flute II: Mvt. 3, m. 11, b. 3 should be a written A-natural
- Oboe I-II: Mvt. 3, Movement title should be "III"
- Oboe I-II: Mvt. 4, Movement title should be "IV"
- Oboe I: Mvt. 3, m.21, b. 4 should be a written A-Natural
- Clarinet I: Mvt. 1, m. 31, "li" of b. 1 should be a written B-flat
- Clarinet I: Mvt. 3, m. 17, Rhythm should be quarter note followed by a quarter rest
Malcolm Arnold’s publisher, Bernard de Nevers, suggested that a suite of dances be composed to provide an English counterpart to Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances or Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances. Arnold developed eight original melodies that seemed firmly rooted in traditional English dance and song.
Written in 1950, English Dances was dedicated to de Nevers. The melodies were divided into two sets of four. The first movement, Andantino, opens quietly to four-part chords played by the French horns and a melody introduced by the oboe. The melody is reminiscent of the gentle movement of a country breeze or the slowly flowing streams, sometimes becoming agitated when encountering obstacles. The second movement, Vivace, begins with bell tones that seem to signal the start of festivities in a village town. Mesto, the third movement, translates as sad or melancholy. The final movement, Allegro risoluto, is characterized by a driving and determined rhythm in the brass with ornamentation from the woodwinds.
- Program Note by Kennesaw State University Wind Ensemble concert program, 12 October 2015
Arnold's mastery of instrumentation in evident in every page of English Dances, the first set of which was completed in 1950 and the second in 1951. Although the listener might think that the composer had resurrected several folk tunes, every theme in these boisterous, good-humored dances is original with Arnold.
Three modes, characteristic of folk music, are used in this first set. The first dance, Andantino, is in the Dorian mode. The lilting theme is first heard by flute and oboe against an ostinato accompaniment by horns, timpani, and muted trumpets. The second dance, Vivace, is Mixolydian, having a flattened seven degree of an otherwise major scale. The gloomy third dance, Mesto, is in Aeolian mode and has a simple pentatonic theme which rises a major third each of the four times it is played. In the Mixolydian mode finale, Allegro Risoluto, the theme goes from one section to another with the brass playing the chief role.
- Program Note from Program Notes for Band
- Audio CD: Dallas Wind Symphony (Jerry Junkin, conductor) - 1995
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) Band (Bobby Lambert, conductor) - 19 December 2019 (2019 Midwest Clinic)
- State University of New York, Potsdam, Symphonic Band (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 21 November 2019
- Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 19 November 2019
- Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Eric Wilson, conductor) – 22 October 2019
- Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Chris Kaatz, conductor) – 15 October 2019
- University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Paul W. Popiel, conductor) – 1 October 2019
- Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 26 September 2019
- Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) - 16 June 2019
- Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) - 9 May 2019
- Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Steven M. Knight, conductor) – 14 April 2019
- University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Danny Brock, conductor) – 19 February 2019
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Hindsley Symphonic Band (Will Sugg, conductor) – 5 October 2018
- University of Colorado Boulder Symphonic Band (Hannah Rudy, conductor)– 18 April 2018
- University of Chicago (Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Chip De Stafano, conductor) – 18 February 2018
- Strongsville (Ohio) Community Band (Ken Menalko, conductor) – 10 November 2017
- State University of New York, Potsdam, Concert Band (Michael Schaff, conductor) – 8 November 2017
- Hamline University (Saint Paul, Minn.) Wind Ensemble (Janet Green, conductor) – 4 November 2017
- Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 30 October 2017
- San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (David Rackley, conductor) – 21 May 2017
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Concerto for Oboe and Strings (arr. Watts) (1952)
- Divertimento for Wind Octet (1988)
- English Dances, Book One (tr. Johnstone) (1950/1965)
- English Dances, Book Two (tr. Herbert) (1951/1989)
- English Dances, Book Two (tr. Sudduth)
- English Dances Set 2 (tr. Thompson)
- Fanfare for a Festival (arr. McDermott) (1955/1986/2000)
- Fanfare for Louis, 1970
- Four Cornish Dances (tr. Marciniak)
- Four Scottish Dances (tr. Paynter) (1957/1978)
- Four Welsh Dances (tr. Parkes)
- A Grand, Grand Overture (tr. Wilson)
- H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge (1957)
- The Inn of Sixth Happiness (arr. Suzuki) (1958/)
- The Padstow Lifeboat, op. 94
- Peterloo Overture (tr. Sayre)
- Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo (tr. Paynter) (1963/1979)
- River Kwai March, The (1957)
- Sarabande and Polka from Solitaire (tr. Paynter)
- Symphony for Brass, op. 123
- Symphony No. 2: Allegretto and Vivace, op. 40 (tr. Parkes)
- Symphony No. 2: Finale, op. 40 (tr. Sudduth)
- Tam O'Shanter Overture, op. 51 (tr. Paynter)
- Trevelyan Suite, op. 96
- Variations on a Theme of Ruth Gipps (trans. Braddock) (1978/2019)
- Water Music, op. 82
- Arnold, M.; Johnstone, M. (1965). English Dances for Band [score]. Mills: New York.
- Sir Malcolm Arnold website
- Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 19.