Throughout a career spanning four decades, communication has always been the most important of Paul Patterson’s compositional preoccupations. Dedicated to his lifelong friend and fellow composer Edward Gregson on the occasion of his 60th birthday, Orchestra on Parade! is the latest in a lengthening line of orchestral sparklers which punctuate Patterson’s oeuvre.

Written very much with the players of the National Youth Orchestra in mind, it aims to introduce young listeners to what an orchestra is about in just under 5 minutes.

After the opening flourish, a boisterous brass theme sets the music upon its journey. Twelve brief variations follow, each one in a different key, with each component of the orchestra getting to strut its stuff. The woodwinds kick off, starting with the bassoons and working upwards to the piccolo. The strings then take over, beginning with violins and climbing down to the double basses. The harp then follows, leading to the brass: the tuba sets off, with horns, trombones and trumpets coming in its wake. Lastly, the percussion section gets its place in the sun, whereupon the orchestra reassembles to hold the theme aloft in triumph. The parade then moves off into the distance, to fade away into silence. Or does it?

Paul Pellay, May 2005.


Written 2004

Symphony Orchestra
Symphony Orchestra. 3(3 dbl picc).2.2.2/4/2/3/1/Timp/3Perc/Hp/Strings
Length 5

Dedication: Dedication: ‘To Howard Griffiths’
Publisher: Josef Weinberger

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