Saturday, December 05, 2015

Mystery Work

A friend of mine is trying to identify a work that used to be played from time to time on a now-defunct Tacoma-area classical music station. Here's what he knows and doesn't know about it:
  • The station called it "The Bells."
  • It is an orchestral work
  • Bells are prominently featured.
  • It is not Rachmaninoff's The Bells.
  • It's not a variant of the Carol of the Bells.
  • It's not August Read Thomas's Prayer Bells.
  • It is a brighter-sounding piece than the Thomas.
  • It's not Leroy Anderson's Song of the Bells.
  • It doesn't seem to be one of the works on the IMSLP page of works featuring bells.
  • It was probably written in the last 100 years.
Any thoughts on what this might be?

UPDATE: It turned out to be an orchestral version a band arrangement of a Byrd harpsichord piece,  The Bells.


vlhorowitz said...

Ravel's 'La vallée des cloches' (orchestral version) ?

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thank you! Passing that suggestion along to my friend.

Lisa Hirsch said...

It was not the Ravel - turned out to be an orchestral arrangement of a William Byrd harpsichord piece, The Bells.

Civic Center said...

It's a totally obscure orchestration by none other than Carl Orff and I heard it once as part of the soundtrack of a New York gay romantic indie film drama from the mid-1970s. I spent decades wondering what that unearthly beautiful music was from the embarrassingly bad film might be. Sort of suspected this had to be the same piece.

Civic Center said...

By the way, the Orff version is called "Entrata" and can be heard here. I'm surprised it hasn't already replaced the Pachelbel Canon in the wider public's hearts.

Anonymous said...

"It is an orchestral work"? Sounds like band to me, also not very 20C except in the arrangement, nor particularly prominent with the bells. Were it not for those clues, I might have guessed it, as Jacob's William Byrd Suite is an old favorite of mine.

Jacqueline Guttman said...

Lisa, I was just looking up something about Frances Blaisdell and came upon your post from when she died in 2009. Frances was my teacher for a number of years when I was in grad school at NYU. She once told me that she loved teaching me because the students at Manhattan thought they knew everything but I was a sponge. Indeed, I was quite a terrible flutist until she (and later Paige Brook) got hold of me. I had to undo about 12 years of bad habits and bad teachers, but I finally became a decent flutist and taught for many years myself. Unfortunately, my hands are the victims of rheumatoid arthritis and now I haven't played for about 17 years. Frances was extraordinary. I loved her very much. She was the reason we moved to Teaneck in 1972, where we brought up our kids. I loved her home in Englewood and told her we wanted to move there. She said, "go to Teaneck; the schools are better," and so we did. Now, ironically, we do live in Englewood, not far from where I used to go for my lessons. She had a warm dark sound, which she developed in me as well, rather than the bright "white" sound that many flutists have. She was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Hi, Jacqueline, thank you so much for the comments about Miss Blaisdell. Could you possibly repost them on this posting about her? I will then delete this comment and yours from this post, which is on such a different subject.