array(1) { [0]=> int(767) } A Simple Reel – Prima Vista Musikk

A Simple Reel

A Simple Reel is the combination of two contrasting traditional style melodies and is a play on words.

The work opens with a slow and simplistic rendition of the old American shaker song Simple Gifts. This shaker (or work song) melody has had many different guises and has been adapted for orchestral, musical, vaudeville and television use. Probably it's most famous version appeared in the 1960s when English songwriter Sydney Carter paired the melody with alternative words and set it as a hymn entitled Lord of the Dance.

The Simple Gifts melody line has a gentle natural lilt to it which implies that it probably derived originally from some sort of Celtic source which has been softened as the melody has evolved over time. The pairing of this tune with a fast-paced pseudo-Irish reel, is therefore not as thoughtless as first appears.

The reel is a fast paced folk dance in alla breve or 2/4 time with a melodic line written usually in continuous moving quavers and designed to ‘whip the listener and dancer into a frenzy'. The opening bars of this reel recreate the soft drone and ostinato of the Uilleann pipes. The traditional catchy "fiddle" melody appears on 1st cornet but is soon passed from one instrument to another as the reel continues, so that by the end everyone has had a go, in true Celtic style.

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Brass Quartet
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