Spirit of Andalusia

Spirit of Andalusia was commissioned by The Glasgow Wind Band and premiered by them at the NCBF Regional Festival held at the Edinburgh Music School on 1st November 2015. The brief was for an arresting 5-minute opener, but during the compositional process the piece seemed to take on a Spanish feel. The composer followed this involuntary lead and decided produce a salute to the exciting rhythms and colours of that country’s wonderful musical heritage, particularly flamenco, whose heartland is the autonomous region of Andalusia.

The piece starts with a dissonant and rhythmic fanfare before a series of short melodic snatches vie for attention before the fanfare reasserts itself. After a short silence a sinuous melody appears on flute and soprano saxophone and this develops until the whole band takes it up. A second joyful melody brightens the mood until a climax is reached and the music subsides to introduce a flamboyant solo for clarinet. A central slower nocturne, opening on soprano saxophone, once again builds to a full-band climax, followed by a clarinet cadenza. The original flamenco music returns in different orchestrations and builds to a crashing close.