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Down to the Sea in Ships

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Robert Russell Bennett

Robert Russell Bennett (ed. Kyle Glaser)


Subtitle: From the NBC TV Film Project 20


General Info

Year: 1954 / 2016
Duration: c. 13:25
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $150.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


Movements

1. The Way of the Ship – 3:45
2. Mists and Mystery – 2:30
3. Songs in the Salty Air – 2:20
5. Waltz of the Clipper Ships – 1:50
6. Finale, Introducing the S.S. Eagle March – 2:50


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Boat Whistle
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Fog Horn
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Low Bell
  • Marimba
  • Military Drum
  • Oriental Drum
  • Ship's Bell
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block (3)
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

After Robert Russell Bennett’s successful collaboration with Richard Rodgers in producing the award winning tele-documentary Victory at Sea in 1952, Bennett assumed the musical leadership for NBC’s next documentary series, Project 20, which ran from 1954 to the early 1970s. Down to the Sea in Ships aired December 11, 1968, and told of man’s fascination with the magic of the sea.

This modern edition is a remarkable setting of this exciting music. The five movements present familiar sea shanties, folk songs, a waltz and a march finale. Movement 1, The Way of a Ship includes the rhythmically augmented melody of Franz Schubert’s Am Meer (On the Sea) and the familiar sea shanty Blow the Man Down. Movement 2, Mists and Mystery, is set as a slow barcarolle, evoking the songs of a Venetian gondolier. Movement 3, Songs in the Salty Air, contains more familiar sea shanties and folk songs like Shenandoah and What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor? Movement 4 is Waltz of the Clipper Ships, and the Finale is a standard march, Introducing the S.S. Eagle, that interestingly uses Schubert’s Am Meer as its melody.

- Program Note from The Instrumentalist


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Woodcreek High School (Roseville, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Brad North, conductor) – 8 May 2019
  • Idaho State University (Pocatello) Civic Concert Band (Erin Armstrong, conductor) – 19 April 2019
  • New Orleans (La.) Concert Band (Charles Taylor, conductor) – 15 October 2017


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • Glaser, Kyle. "Robert Russell Bennett's Down to the Sea in Ships : A Performance Edition and Analysis." Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University, 2012.
  • "New Music Reviews." The Instrumentalist. January 2017, pp. 26.
  • Perusal score