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A New Orleans Overture (8.47)

Jazz Drummer by Gabrielle Hill

60 second MP3 sample (476k)

51 second MP3 sample (395k)


Richard Hill [Versions for Orchestra only and Orchestra with Jazz Band]

Line-up:- [Orchestra only] Picc., 2 flts, 2 obs, Eb clt, 2Bb clts, 2 bsns. 6 hns, 3 tpts, 3tbns,tba. Perc.1 [timps+bass drm], perc.2[snare drm], perc.3[tamb.], perc.4[cymbs+glock.]. Vlns1[8 desks], vlns2[7], vle[6], celli[5], bassi[4].

Line-up:- [with Jazz Band] the same except only 3 Perc. Perc.1[timps+bass drm], perc.2[glock.+cymbs], perc.3[snare drm+tamb.]. Jazz Band-parts[as New Orleans Marching Band] available for 2clts,tpt,tbn.,tba,drms.

A New Orleans Overture was commissioned by jazz band leader Chris Barber OBE in 1986. It was first performed at the Palast Der Republik, East Berlin, on 2nd October of that year, by the Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band and the Grosse Rundfunk Orchester Berlin, conducted by Robert Hanell. The piece received an ecstatic reception from a hugely enthusiastic audience in the former DDR. Since then, this captivating, audience friendly work has been performed many times by orchestras throughout Europe and the UK.

A New Orleans Overture is a celebration of the birth and early days of jazz. Its thematic material is taken entirely from authentic recordings of street vendor cries and field hollers, as well as from gospel hymns such as 'Just a Closer Walk With Thee' and ' Just a Little While to Stay Here'. The piece draws an aural picture of the atmosphere of life in the sprawling city that was the port of New Orleans around the first decade of the twentieth century. It depicts the bustle and clamour of the street traders, the quiet dignity of a legendary New Orleans funeral procession, including the triumphant march back from the cemetery, and finishes with the excitement and brashness of the world famous New Orleans celebration of Mardi Gras. A New Orleans Overture is a highly approachable and a richly satisfying, almost visual experience of the art of programme music, and wherever it has been performed it has delighted audiences of all ages with its vibrancy and sensitivity.

The Overture is available in two versions, for orchestra plus New Orleans marching band, or for orchestra alone.



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