Hill Song No. 1

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (adapt. R Mark Rogers)

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General Info

Year: c. 1901 / 1922 / 1923 / 1997
Duration: c. 12:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Two pianos, four hands
Publisher: Southern Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $100.00   |   Score Only (print) - $25.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Alto Flute
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bass Oboe (optional)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
String Bass

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This work arose from Grainger's thoughts and impressions of the wildness of hill countries, their people, and their music (such as the Scottish Highlands, the Himalayas, the Bagpipes, and the like).

This adaptation for a solo wind ensemble of 25 wind instruments, double bass, percussion and piano by Mark Rogers follows closely the 1921 and 1923 rescorings of the original instrumentation.

- Program Note from publisher

I consider Hill-Song no. 1 by far the best of all my compositions. But the difficulties of conducting its highly irregular rhythms are almost prohibitive. At the time of composing Hill-Song no. 1 (1901-2, aged 19-20) wildness and fierceness were the qualities in life and nature that I prized the most and wished to express in music. These elements were paramount in my favorite literature -- the Icelandic sagas. I was in love with the double reeds (oboe, English horn, etc.) as the wildest and fiercest of musical tone-types.

In 1900 I had heard a very harsh-toned rustic oboe (piffero) in Italy, some extremely nasal Egyptian double-reeds at the Paris Exhibition, and bagpipes in the Scottish Highlands. I wished to weave these snarling, nasal sounds (which I had heard only in single-line melody) into a polyphonic texture as complex as Bach's, as democratic as Australia (by 'democratic', in a musical sense, I mean a practice of music in which each voice that makes up the harmonic weft enjoys equal importance and independence -- as contrasted with 'undemocratic' music consisting of a dominating melody supported by subservient harmony). In this way I wished to give musical vent to feelings aroused by the soul-shaking hill-scapes I had recently seen on a three-days tramp, in Western Argyleshire. I was not in favour of programme-music. I had no wish to portray tonally any actual scenes or even to record musically any impressions of nature. What I wanted to convey in my Hill-song was the nature of the hills themselves -- as if the hills themselves were telling of themselves through my music, rather than that I, an onlooker, were recording my 'impressions' of the hills.

The musical idiom of Hill-Song no. 1 derives much of its character from certain compositional experiments I had undertaken in 1898, 1899 and 1900 and from certain nationalistic attitudes that were natural to me as an Australian.

- Program Note by composer


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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