Hamish MacCunn : The Land of the Mountain and the flood (Arranged for Brass quintet)

Product Code : MacCunn_01
Hamish MacCunn (22 March 1868 – 2 August 1916) was a Scottish Romantic composer, conductor and teacher. His opera Diarmid , was produced at Covent Garden on 23 October 1897. His other music includes cantatas, concert overtures, part-songs, instrumental pieces and songs, all markedly Scottish in type. He had a genuine love of Scottish folksong, and although he lived in London he was a lifelong champion of Scottish music and of the country’s musical life. Born in Greenock as the son of a ship-owner, he went to London in 1883 and was educated at the Royal College of Music, where his teachers included Sir Hubert Parry and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. His first success was with the overture The Land of the Mountain and the Flood on 5 November 1887 at the Crystal Palace, and this remains far and away his best-known piece. It was followed by other compositions, always with a characteristic Scottish colouring. From 1888 to 1894 he was a professor at the Royal College of Music.
He was commissioned by Carl Rosa to write an opera on a Scottish subject. The world premiere of his first opera, Jeanie Deans, conducted by the composer, took place at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh on 15 November 1894. After which he became a conductor with the Carl Rosa Opera Company and subsequently to other companies. However, a hectic programme of composing, conducting and teaching brought about a gradual deterioration in MacCunn's health, and he died in 1916 aged only 48.
The Land of the Mountain and the Flood is a concert overture for orchestra, often cited as the archetypal Scottish overture, it is frequently likened to the works of Sir Walter Scott in its unashamedly lyrical, romantic view of the Scottish landscape. The title is in fact taken from Scott's The Lay of the Last Minstrel, canto vi, stanza 2
O Caledonia! stern and wild, Meet nurse for a poetic child! Land of the heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood, Land of my sires! what mortal hand Can e'er untie the filial band
That knits me to thy rugged strand!
After its first performance at Crystal Palace, George Bernard Shaw said in a somewhat derogatory manner of it:
Mr MacCunn’s Land of the Mountain and the Flood, a charming Scotch overture that carries you over the hills and far away, was much applauded. I object, by the bye, to the “working out” section, which Mr MacCunn would never have written if his tutors had not put it into his head. I know a lady who keeps a typewriting establishment. Under my advice, she is completing arrangements for supplying middle sections and recapitulations for overtures and symphonies at twopence a bar, on being supplied with the first section and coda.”
In 1968, the overture came to renewed attention when EMI included it on an LP 'Music of the Four Countries’ played by the Scottish National Orchestra. From there it gained wider familiarity by being used from 1973 to 1976 as the theme for the BBC television series Sutherland's Law.
Once again, we are absolutely delighted to offer this great work as an arrangement for a brass ensemble for the first time ever despite what George Bernard Shaw said about it!
This work is now firmly established in Orchestral repertoire, and it was an absolute joy to arrange since this piece fits like a glove as a chamber brass ensemble arrangement.
This is a particular arrangement that none of the ensemble will get bored with since every player has a significant part to play especially the tuba and also the trombone. The French horn is very prominent in the original and so it is in our arrangement, which we have also made easier to play since we have transposed the piece up a semitone from the original D major to B major modulation to a more comfortable E flat major to a C major modulation. The 2 trumpets as ever get plenty to play!
Technically we would class this as of intermediate difficulty since the tuba has quite a difficult part to play in places.
No. of Players : 5 Difficulty : Intermediate Arranged by : Mark Leigh
Download sample file : Click here
In most cases, this is the arrangment being played back using the Sibelius video export facility, but in some cases this is an actual performance by groups commissioned by Undiscovered Brass to actually perform the arrangment.
The Land of the Mountain and the flood (Arranged for Brass quintet)
Price : £20