by Percy Aldridge Grainger
arr. by Christopher Rueda
for Reed Quintet (Eng hn / Bb cl / alto & bari / bs cl / bsn
$20 – PDF
“No traditional tunes of any kind are made use of in this piece, in which I have wished to express feelings aroused by thoughts of the scenery and people of my native land, (Australia), and also to voice a certain kind of emotion that seems to me not untypical of native-born Colonials in general. Perhaps it is not unnatural that people living more or less lonelily in vast virgin countries and struggling against natural and climatic hardships (rather than against the more actively and dramatically exciting counter wills of their fellow men, as in more thickly populated lands) should run largely to that patiently yearning, inactive sentimental wistfulness that we find so touchingly expressed in much American art; for instance in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and in Stephen C. Foster’s adorable songs My Old Kentucky Home, Old Folks at Home, etc. I have also noticed curious, almost Italian-like, musical tendencies in brass band performances and ways of singing in Australia (such as a preference for richness and intensity of tone and soulful breadth of phrasing over more subtly and sensitively varied delicacies of expression), which are also reflected here.” -Percy Aldridge Grainger
This song was dedicated to his mother, Rose Annie Aldridge.
Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882 – 1961) was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist who lived in the United States from 1914 on and became a citizen in 1918. In the course of a long and innovative career, he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century. He served briefly as a bandsman in the United States Army during the First World War through 1917–18, having lied about his ability to play the saxophone. Grainger went on to explore the potential of the wind ensemble, leading to a wealth of rich, innovative works for wind instruments.
Christopher Rueda (b. 1994), clarinetist and bass clarinetist of the Doclé Reed Quintet, graduated from the Eastman School of Music after studying with Jon Manasse and Kenneth Grant, and then moved to Chicago and completed his master’s degree in clarinet performance from Northwestern University – Bienen School of Music, where he studied with Steve Cohen and Lawrie Bloom. In his free time, Christopher enjoys arranging and transcribing music not only for reed quintet, but for a variety of ensembles.