Heaton music to be showcased in Bergen

A brace of concerts by Eikanger- Bjørsvik Musikklag and Bjørsvik Brass will showcase the music of Wilfred Heaton later this month.

  The concerts will feature the music of Wilfred Heaton (above)

Following on from their recent live-streamed concert success, Eikanger- Bjørsvik Musikklag has announced that it will link up with its sibling organisation Bjørsvik Brass for a brace of concerts to be held in Bergen at the end of the month (Sunday 27th September).

Both will be featuring the music of Wilfred Heaton to open their new concert seasons.

World and Norwegian premieres

At 5.30pm (local time) and as part of a concert at Eidsvag Church, Bjørsvik Brass led by conductor Magnus Brandseth will present the Norwegian premiere, and only the second live performance, of 'Lento', a new version for brass band of the slow movement of Heaton's still unperformed 'Piano Sonata'.

Just two hours later (7.30pm) in Bergen's Grand Hall, Eikanger, conducted by Ingar Bergby will include the first performance of a suite arranged from incidental music to Bunyan's 'The Pilgrim's Progress' entitled 'Pilgrim Variations'.

Heaton scores

Both items have been prepared by Paul Hindmarsh, who told 4BR: "In these strange times I was delighted to be contacted by the bands about these 'new' Heaton scores.

'Pilgrim Variations' is a second suite that I have drawn from Heaton's 'Pilgrim's Song' music. The score only came to light in 2012, when it was discovered in the effects of the composer's sister after she passed away.

It contains 19 short items for solo piano, brass ensemble and unaccompanied choir and was written for the Salvation Army officer training college in Johannesburg.

The Heaton family asked if I would produce a suite with narration and this was recorded using the original title."

Lovely music

Paul added: "However, for some time I've wanted to build a piece for brass band out of this lovely music. The Covid-19 lockdown provided the opportunity. The larger items are all based on the tune 'Monksgate', so I've entitled the second suite 'Pilgrim Variations'.

It's more straightforward to play than most of Heaton's music, but it bears the hallmarks of his best writing, particularly the items that were originally composed for piano. I'm thrilled that Eikanger will be giving the world premiere."

The first part of the concert includes two band classics, Holst's 'Suite in E flat' in an arrangement by Svien Henrik Giske and Reid Gilje and Percy Fletcher's 'Epic Symphony'.

An all-Heaton second half comprises the march 'Le Tricot Rouge', the rarely played 'The Children's Friend', 'In Memoriam' by Arthur Sullivan, and to finish, the premiere of 'Pilgrim Variations'.

Meanwhile, Bjørsvik Brass will be celebrating their return to the concert platform with a programme that includes Simon Dobson's 'Penlee', Leslie Condon's 'The Present Age', and movements from 'A Lowry Sketchbook' and 'Gallery', as well as Heaton's 'Lento'.

In these strange times I was delighted to be contacted by the bands about these 'new' Heaton scoresPaul Hindmarsh

Fond memories

Paul added: "Without question 'Lento' is Heaton's darkest, most intense slow movement and at 10 minutes, his longest. Composed in the early 1950s it forms the slow movement of a 30-minute 'Piano Sonata' — two movements of which Heaton reworked from the music that later became 'Partita'.

In some ways it is like a secular equivalent of a Salvation Army meditation, with a beautiful hymn-like melody providing the basis for a series of contrasting contrapuntal episodes. The climax is dissonant and visceral, but gives way to a haunting Mahlerian conclusion."

Although he is unable to travel to Norway for the events, Paul added that he was delighted the worls were being performed. "I've fond memories of hearing Eikanger give the first performance of Howard Snell's realisation of 'Variations' and my edition of 'Five Little Pieces' back in 2002 with Howard conducting.

Hearing 'Lento' for the first time in Norway alongside some of my favourite brass band pieces would have made my year!"

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


4BR Brass Things Review...

April 11 • Jonathan Pippen takes a quick look at the the John Packer JP133LR trombone for 4BR...


Hail Smiling Morn...

April 11 • Delph Band plays its part in helping attract shoppers back to Oldham Town Centre.


BBE produces Covid-19 guidance from 12th April

April 11 • Brass Bands England has announced its guidance to bands in England that will reflect the new rules that come into force from Monday 12th April.

Band Supplies

Zero in on getting back to band with a Besson from Band Supplies

April 10 • There is a 0% special offer on Besson Prestige and Sovereign models at Band Supplies — but be quick if you want to get your hands on one in time to get back to banding...

Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL

Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA

Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 18 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL40 4SH

Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Sunday 19 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL40 4SH

Contest: National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain

Saturday 2 October • Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP

City of Bristol Brass Band

April 9 • A FLUGEL player is required by City of Bristol Brass Band (competing in the First Section) with immediate effect. The successful applicant will join a successful, friendly band with some exciting concerts and contests in the diary.

Otterbourne Brass

April 7 • If during the last 12 months you have realised how much time two rehearsals a week plus engagements takes then Otterbourne Brass rehearse once a week and presently has vacancies for bass and trombone players. Other instruments may also apply

Wotton and District Silver Band

April 5 • When we all get back to business we will be seeking to fill our vacancies for MUSICAL DIRECTOR and Eb BASS.

Sarah Groarke-Booth

BA (Hons) MA
Conductor, Adjudicator, Compere, Actor


 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd