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Edward Elgar arr.Peter Lawson
POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE MARCH No.1 for Piano Duet
Goodmusic GM327

Catalogue Number: GM327

ISMN: 9790222314788

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Pomp & Circumstance 1 (arr.Lawson) image
This arrangement came about when I was making a harmonised choral version of Land of Hope and Glory, for various choir combinations to sing at the appropriate places when the famous tune occurs in Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No 1. It first appears in the key of G (rather low for voices) and triumphantly returns near the end in D (rather too high for some voices). Instead of singing in unison, choirs could comfortably sing in harmony with the audience singing along in unison. This would solve the problem of choir members going off range as the tune either goes too low or too high for them. I thought of putting in cues from the orchestra or piano, but I came to the conclusion that a piano reduction would be the best idea. The problem with this is that the March sections are very busy and the piano reduction would either sound disappointingly simplified or would be almost impossibly difficult to play. It takes a good pianist to deal with an arrangement which tries to get too much in. The art of a good reduction is what to leave out as much as what to put in.
I then thought, "Pity I couldn’t make a piano duet arrangement of it", quickly followed by "What great fun that would be to play!" So this version, which may sound flashy, isn’t too difficult and, hopefully, will entertain performers and audience alike, in the absence of an orchestra. It could be used with the choir singing along in a Prom or Jubilee type concert. I would estimate that it could be played by two good grade 7 players.
Ironically, having done this, it was much easier to then, after all, make a one-player arrangement for a rehearsal pianist or performance, which is only a shade trickier than the duet version and could be played by a competent grade 7-8 pianist! But, obviously the duet arrangement is much more spectacular and faithful to the original with the four hands at one’s disposal. Peter Lawson
Duration 6 minutes

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