Fisher Who Died in His Bed
This beautiful work derives its inspiration from the ballad about the demise of East Coast fisherman Jim Jones. Each of the four movements in this suite portrays a contrasting mood. Audiences will appreciate the way the piece weaves prominent solo clarinet work and strong inner voices together with the entire ensemble to create a haunting aural tapestry. The suite of four movements may also be played separately.
The composer first heard this haunting ballad on a tape by the East Coast group Figgy Duff, performed a cappella. After much searching, a complete text was found, with notation. The verses portray the life of Jim Jones, a noted fisherman, who, like all of us, had both saintly and dark traits. It is the chronicling of a folk hero:
The Fisher Who Died in His Bed has been recorded by the University of Toronto Wind Symphony on a CD entitled Wind Symphony (Arbordisc UTWS 9701).
12'30" (3'0" + 4'0" + 3'0" + 2'30")
Notes on The Fisher Who Died in His Bed
Movement I Jim Jones The Fisher: This movement should be played quite freely. The opening statement of the melody should be quite plaintive, and the dynamic should not exceed a warm mezzo-forte.
Movement II Lament: The opening fanfare is meant to be very crisp, and the eighth-note - sixteenth-rest - sixteenth-note figure in bar 2, etc. should not be cheated into a triplet. At rehearsal A, the melody is more subdued, but still should be precise, in contrast to the more fluid answering phrases in the woodwinds and brass. The climax at bar 45 should be quite majestic.
Movement III Celebration: This movement is meant to be a rollicking gigue, Newfoundland style. Dynamic contrasts, such as at bars 28 and 29 can be exaggerated to create a comic effect, but the should never be too boisterous. The movement should have a feeling of lightness, and should propel itself to the broad stretto beginning at rehearsal L.
Movement IV Remembrance: The final statement of the theme is meant to be played with warmth and majesty, never funereally. The reprise of the gigue at rehearsal C recalls the humour of the previous movement. The final stroke of the chimes lays to rest Jim Jones The Fisher Who Died In His Bed.
for The Fisher Who Died in His Bed
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