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Wind Ensemble

THE RYCHEMOUNT CHRONICLES

For Junior Wind Ensemble



Duration: 7 minutes



Grade: 2+



2001 saw the 500th Anniversary of the naming of Richmond, Surrey.  The Great Chronicle of London records that  upon completion of the re-building of his manor at Shene in 1501,  King Henry VII commanded that it be re-named Rychemount.  This was in honour of the Yorkshire Earldom which had been bestowed upon his father, and the title by which he himself had been known prior to being crowned King.

The palace at Richmond was now the jewel amongst royal properties and over the next 150 years, would be used as the seat of royal government, as well as hosting many important royal visits.  It was also at Richmond that the plans for the defence of England against the Spanish Armada were formulated.

The Rychemount Chronicles tells the story of a handful of the events that took place at Richmond Palace during the reigns of the Tudor Monarchs.

I  Arrival of an Emperor
In 1522, Charles of Castille  King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, paid a state visit to Richmond Palace.  He arrived by river and was accompanied by 208 nobles, 100 household officers and 1710 servants.
The movement opens with a fanfare announcing the imminent arrival of the Emperor.  This fanfare is answered by the Emperors minstrels, and as the antiphonal music builds to its climax, the Emperor lands at Richmond, to be greeted by King Henry VIII.

II  A Dance with The Duke
Queen Elizabeth I was besieged by Royal suitors for her hand in marriage.  The most ardent of these suitors was the brother of the French King, Francis, Duke of Anjou. In 1581, the Duke visited Elizabeth at Richmond and was entertained there, and although the queen proclaimed that she would marry him, she swiftly changed her mind.
This movement is based on various elements of dance forms to which Elizabeth and the Duke might have danced during his stay at Richmond.

III  The Queen's Garden
Queen Elizabeth I moved the court to Richmond as often as she could, particularly during the winter in the last years of her life.  Whilst at Richmond, the Queen spent  much time walking on Richmond Green, and around the extensive gardens of the Palace.
This movement portrays the music that the Queens musicians might have played for her, while she walked in the gardens of her beloved palace.

IV  By River, to Whitehall
In January 1603, the Queen moved the court from London to Richmond.  She was ill with a cold, and although she seemed to recover, she fell ill again.  On March 23rd 1603, Queen Elizabeth I died at Richmond Palace.  Her body was transported to Whitehall by Royal Barge, and from there the Queen was taken to Westminster Abbey, where she lay in State for one month.
The movement starts with a fanfare announcing the departure of the Royal Barge, bearing the body of the Queen.  As the flotilla of boats sails up the Thames, those on board remember the life of the Queen who had ruled England for nearly half a century.  As the boat nears Whitehall, the fanfare returns announcing the arrival of the Queen at the end of her final journey.



Publisher:  Studio Music

Instrumentation:

Fls. 1.2, Obs. 1.2 (Opt.), Bb Cls. 1.2, Eb A. Sax., Bb Ten. Sax.,
F Horn (Opt.), Bb Tpts. 1.2
Unison Bass Line - Bb B. Cl., Bssn., Eb Bar. Sax., Trb., Euph., Tuba,
Perc 1.2. (2nd Perc - Tuned)



Additional Notes:

This piece was written for the Studio Music "Prelude Plus" Series. The series seeks to address the problems caused by imbalances in instrumental forces in junior bands and as such, the lower end of the ensemble plays a unison bass line (in octaves where necessary).

Within the bass line the instrumentation is varied, but always cued in all other parts. Likewise, the oboes and F horn parts are also optional, and cued elsewhere.

The piece appears as a set work on a number of repertoire lists across the UK, USA and Australia, and was the set work in 2007 for the Australian National Band Championships.