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My Funny Valentine
As performed live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Commonwealth Radio; also recorded on CD by Bones Apart.
A glowing introduction opens the arrangement, leading into the hauntingly beautiful song. The parts blend in embracingly thick homogeny, over which the melody sings sweetly. Although the music is played at a slow tempo, the accompanying parts create a feeling of slow, gentle fluidity by their rhythmic and harmonic movements. After the first sounding of the theme, the tempo pushes forward into a smooth, jazzier section. The top part plays written-out lyrical jazz lines, flowing seamlessly over the rich chords of the subtly pulsating ensemble.
The feel and texture of the music changes several times during the course of the section, bringing with it the opportunity for different players to take the lead.
The tempo is once again shifted upwards and a highly charged groove section follows, over which the main theme is played energetically in duet by the top two parts. The "middle eight" section of the theme is subdued but soon grows expansively, leading into a powerful climax, projected in octaves, at the height of the theme. Any remaining tension is melted away by mellow, soft chords, bringing the arrangement to a timeless close.
"Richard, your arrangements worked a treat! The delegates at the Brass Band Summer School 2009 (Bromsgrove, UK) loved them - 20 trombones in all - and funnily enough, some of the delegates also brought some of your arrangements so it was a kind of 'Turned on Music' week ;-) Thanks ever so much for all your help getting the dots to me. I'll have no hesitation recommending your arrangements to fellow 'bonists. Congratulations on such a fine service"
Nick Hudson, UK trombone soloist / professor, Aldar Academies, Abu Dhabi, UAE, August 2009