Flying the Breeze

 

The Breeze Brass Band, based in Osaka, Japan, is a professional ensemble, which was founded in 1990 to encourage the growth of brass bands there. They have invited many leading British conductors, composers and soloists to share their expertise and without doubt have been responsible, through concerts and recordings, for a huge increase in interest in brass bands in their country.

In November 2000 they reached their 10th anniversary and commissioned Philip Sparke, a frequent visitor, to write a piece to celebrate the occasion. Flying the Breeze was the result and the composer made the concert band transcription in 2004.

The piece opens with three repeated notes (in the brass band version these were written Bs – BBB being the band’s initials) and a short introduction leads to a robust theme from the clarinets, horns and trombones, which is then taken up by trumpets. A restless bridge passage leads to a syncopated tune from the alto saxophone and then to a third theme from a solo euphonium. A graceful second subject, initially on a solo clarinet, leads back to a recall of the introductory material before a full-scale recapitulation. An intense allargando leads to a full-band version of the second subject under a running woodwind passage, which leads to a short coda.