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Dapper's Delight - Robin Hood / Staines Morris


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I've finally found the time to edit another video from one of our Scottish concerts last October. It's a set from our 2nd CD of our arrangement of a Thomas Weelkes part song "Robin Hood", followed by 3 versions of the Staines Morris tune from Daniel Wright’s 1713 publication: "An Extraordinary Collection…" I hope you'll enjoy the live version...

 

Robin Hood / Staines Morris

 

Adrian

 

 

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Hi Steven,

Glad you liked our latest effort. I used four anglos in that programme, the one in the clip is a CG, but I also had a BbF, a GD and a low FC. The choice mostly depends on our singing, since we don't have a huge flexibility in range (Susanna is quite a low soprano and I'm rather a high tenor). In this particular song, we reversed the voices so that I took the highest part, Susanna the second and the concertina played the bass line with the occasional chord to thicken it up. It was the only way we felt it worked given our modest resources, even though all three parts ended up in the 'wrong' octaves. Given the subject matter (Will Kemp and morris dancing) we wanted to keep it as light and bouncy as possible, so I hope that's the impression that comes over?
With our tune sets, the choice of anglo depends on our melodic ranges, the sound, and sometimes simply on the programme order (we try to avoid too many changes). Since the bottom octave of even a 38 key anglo is pretty much diatonic, it will often depend on the bass notes I need. Susanna has 2 recorders for each of my concertinas tuned an octave apart and to my inside rows. So she has sopraninos and altos in G and F, as well as sopranos and tenors in D and C. This gives us many different combinations which I hope gives a good variety of colours to our sound - something which is quite important if you want to entertain an audience for an hour and a half!

Adrian

Edited by aybee
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Wow! What a perfect performance.

 

I can't begin to fathom what went into preparing that, from arranging to learning to rehearsal.

 

Thanks a lot for your kind comments David - yes this one did take a lot of time to get to performance, because we had to try many different combinations before getting it to the point where we were happy with the result. It would have been a lot easier if we were a trio :rolleyes:

 

Adrian

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The diatonic aspect of the low range is something that kind of drives me crazy about the concertina. I switched from Anglo to Hayden Duet a couple of years ago for more access to chromatic harmonies (which I have enjoyed), but there are still missing notes at the bottom of the range of my 42-button Peacock (no C♯ and no E♭).

 

Anyway, it's fascinating to learn what you all are putting into your arrangement decisions. The work pays off!

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That's funny Steven, for me it's the limitations of the anglo and the creative solutions you have to come up with that I find inspiring. If I just wanted to play music as written, and have no limitations on what I can play, I'd practise the piano a bit more, but I'm sure it would only be half the fun:-)
One thing I'm often doing with piano song arrangements is simply to play them an octave higher, using both sides of the anglo for the accompaniment and just singing the melody line. If it gets a bit chromatic at the bottom, you can often fake it by playing these bits up an octave and reversing some of the chords.

In our latest programme, we do a version of Schubert's song Der Tod und das Mädchen with me doing the piano part an octave higher than written. Susanna doubles the bass line with a tenor recorder, which sort of makes the mix sound a bit lower than it actually is. If you came to our concert expecting to hear a Schubert recital, you'd be horrified by what we've done to it, but in the context (we mirror it with an English broadside version of Death and the Maiden that's 200 years older) we're quite pleased with how it works.

Adrian

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Wow, thanks Jody, glad you liked it too. I fear though that the US tour will have to wait until after we win the lottery...

Perhaps we can hook up in the UK though sometime - I always look out for your annual tour, but as yet, have never managed to make it over at the same time!

 

Adrian

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