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Music Publishers - Goodmusic, Roberton Publications & Leslie Music Supply

01684 773883

Paul Lewis
THE SUNKEN BALLROOM - An Elegy for Orchestra
Goodmusic Concert Originals Series GMCO105

Catalogue Number: GMCO105

Difficulty level: E What's this?

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Sunken Ballroom  Pack image
ORCHESTRATION
2 Flutes (2nd db Piccolo), 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in Bb (2nd db Alto Sax), 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion (3 players:Tubular Bells, Tam-Tam, Drum Kit, Triangle, Tambourine, Glockenspiel), Harp, Banjolin (or Banjo), Piano db. Celesta
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)

The Sunken Ballroom - a musical vignette, a mini tone poem inspired by the wreck of Brighton’s West Pier: atmospheric, impressionistic watery textures from which emerge long-forgotten memories of the ballroom that now lies sadly rusting on the seabed. A waltz and a foxtrot float into focus and disappear again, leaving us with our recollections once more submerged. Gone are those romantic days; we are older now and the ghosts of our memories will surely die with us, leaving nothing but rotting metal beneath the waves.
The orchestra paints the picture and sets the scene. A lonely bell tolls the death knell of the pier, then like a distant memory a small group emerges - trombone, saxophone and rhythm section, playing a lilting waltz version of that perennial celebration of seaside jollity, 'I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside' - which eventually fades into a return of the opening dirge. Then, gradually getting louder as the memories become real again, a dance band is heard - muted brass, sax and rhythm - playing a foxtrot. This in turn fades away and a brief but passionate lament for the pier subsides into bleak wateriness until only the tolling bell remains.
The sad fate of the West Pier is very poignant for me since my mother and her sister, both musicians, played regularly in the restaurant/ballroom. They were playing there the day war broke out; the pier manager told them to pack up their instruments and go home as the War Office intended to cut a section out of the pier to prevent its use by the Germans as a landing stage. On the back cover of the score is a glorious photo from that year of my mother, Phyllis, and my Aunt Gladys in gypsy costume carrying their accordions along the pier. Paul Lewis
Duration 6 minutes

A PACK comprises one A4 sized full score, all wind brass and percussion parts and string parts 4/4/3/4/2. An A3 sized score is also available separately.

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