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John Addison and Big Bend

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Old 06-04-12, 08:28 PM
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Default John Addison and Big Bend

What does composer John Addison have to do with Big Bend
National Park - where the Rio Grande makes a big northeast turn in west Texas?
On the surface, not much.
The connection comes with one of those TV travelog films, that was made at Big Bend park in 1986 by Finley Holiday Films.
I'm almost certain the music for this film was composed by
John Addison, who has written less concert music and more for the British cinema.
Background music for TV travelog films, fishing and sportsman shows
is sometimes mediocre level, but not bad.
This Big Bend music was exceptional - wide leaping, highly original
angular melodies. He may have used it in another orchestra piece -
i have not heard much by Addison.
So i put on Addison's Concerto for Trumpet, Strings and Percussion
from 1949, which has the same thrilling type motifs.
Some of the same phrases and orchestration in the Big Bend music can be heard in this concerto, and show a distinctive style.
The concerto is in 3 sections - fast, slow, fast. I found the 1st section
a real bobbydazzler. At least youtube has this first part, but it is lacking the necessary strings and percussion.
At 3:45 to 3:50 on the clip is the same as the Big Bend music, but is not the best part of that.
A short review of the Trumpet Concerto on Amazon gives these comments:
"unsubstantial and light hearted" (where have we seen that before)
"pleasant but not memorable" - i thought it was some of the best music this side of the Pecos; - they have to write something.
On the Finley site i saw a Big Bend video available,
but i would check first if it is the 1986 original with music by Addison.

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