Frank Bridge (1879 – 1941) was one of the leading English composers of his time. In October 1922 he adapted his popular string quartet Sir Roger de Coverley for full symphony orchestra and Sir Henry Wood agreed, at the last minute, to include it in the last night of the Queen’s Hall Promenade Concerts at the end of that month. This elaborate and colourful orchestral version has never been widely performed, but has now been brilliantly transcribed by Alastair Wheeler to provide a miniature dance poem for grade 5 level concert band. Bridge’s lively treatment of one of England’s most famous traditional dance melodies will make a fitting end to any concert, with the strains of Auld Lang Syne introduced by Bridge as a nod towards Sir Roger de Coverley’s traditional function as the final dance of a Christmas Ball, as it was in Old Mr. Fezziwig’s party in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Scaff! is an adaptation of the famous 4th movement of the Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz in swing style. The story of the March to the Scaffold is a tragic one where the subject, in a depressive state over a love interest, overdoses on opium. He dreams that he has killed his beloved and after his procession to the scaffold is now witnessing his own death. This arrangement doesn't really reflect those tragic circumstances but instead redresses this great tune into a toe-tapping big band number.