Night on Culbin Sands, A
Subtitle: For large wind orchestra
This work bears the designation Opus 38, No. 1.
C Piccolo/Flute III
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
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
- Tom-Tom, high and low
None discovered thus far.
The barony Culbin was once the most fertile part of its region, Western Moray in Northern Scotland. But it all changed from one day to the next. During an autumn night in 1686, just before the harvest was to be collected, a heavy storm broke out, a tempest, carrying enormous amounts of sand, which all came down on the barony. All at once the harvest was completely ruined.
But this proved to be only the beginning. Many similar sand storms followed, and as a result the whole region, including all houses, farms and the barony's mansion, became completely buried under the sand within a few years time.
In 1931 the Scottish playwright Gordon Bottomley wrote a one act play entitled Culbin Sands. In this play he introduced four witches, descendants of the witches
...who prophesied King Duncan's death;
Indeed: descendants of the witches appearing in Shakespeare's Macbeth (which is enacted in more or less the same region). In Bottomley's play the sand storms appear to have been evoked by witchcraft
Because Kinnaird (then baron of Culbin) had driven us off his land --
Calling us witches.
The combination of the historical facts and Bottomley's one act play gave me an idea for a piece of music for large wind orchestra. A rather simple idea, by the way: the listener witnesses a night on Culbin Sands, a place that is obviously bewitched. At first everything is quiet, even though one can feel a certain tension. But then a storm breaks loose. This storm reaches a climax and then dies down. At the end of the piece everything is 'quiet' again...
- Program Note by composer
Commissioned by the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Dedicated to Maurice Hamers and the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy
- Program Note from score
- Audio: Reference recording. Ensemble and conductor unknown
- Audio:Koninklijke Harmonie Ste. Cécile, Eijsden (Netherlands) (Jan Cober, conductor)22 July 2001
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Amsterdam Wind Orchestra (Christian Lindberg, conductor) – 19 May 2011
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Armenian Rhapsody No 1 (1990)
- Caucasian Epode (1988/1994)
- Coming to Light (2015)
- Concert Overture Mindia 2020 (2020)
- Elegy for Tohoku (2011)
- From a Fairy Tale. See: Uit een Sprookje
- Homage to Dmitri Shostakovich (1978/1990)
- A Night on Culbin Sands (1999/2001)
- Symphony No. 3 (2013)
- Uit een Sprookje (2005)
- Vita Aeterna Variations (2011/2017)
- Witches' Cauldron (2003)