Recording of the Month
Wilfred Heaton ed. Snell/Hindmarsh: Theme and Variations
Early in 1990, composer Wilfred Heaton accepted an invitation to write a major work for the All England Masters Brass Band Championship, then in its second year. However, when the organisers turned to the practical aspects of the commission Heaton became rather nervous about being tied down to deadlines. By 1992 he had completed a number of variations, but gave up on it at least twice as the work grew ever more substantial. Late in 1992 he offered the work to Howard Snell as a major concert item. Progress continued to be very slow and by the time he died in May 2000 it was still not finished. Howard Snell was invited by the family to complete the full score of what turned out to be a major 30 minute work - too long and diffuse to make it of practical use for brass band concerts of contests. The composer recognised this himself and was never confident that it would ever be performed. It has achieved a handful of festival performances and one full recording. Following a performance by Cory Band (RNCM Brass Band Festival 2019), the decision was made by the Heaton family and PHM Publishing, to offer a shorter performing edition suitable for concert or contest performance. This edition, called Theme and Variations to distinguish it from the larger work, can be extracted from the complete score. A separate edition is planned for future release.
For further information: www.paulhindmarsh.com