• John McCabe
  • Cloudcatcher Fells (1985)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Boosey & Hawkes Festivals with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain as the test piece for 1985 finals of National Brass Band Championships

  • Brass Band
  • Wind Band arr. by Ruth E. deSarno
  • 17 min

Programme Note

This arrangement of Cloudcatcher Fells received its British premiere at the BASBWE conference, performed by Northampton Symphonic Winds, conducted by Alan Suttie, on 22 September 1996 at Warwick University.

John McCabe included this note in his original brass band score:

Cloudcatcher Fells was commisisoned by Boosey and Hawkes Band Festivals (with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain) as the text piece for the 1985 Finals of the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain. The title comes from a poem by David Wright, and the work is associated with various places, mostly mountainous, in the Lake District which have particular personal significance for the composer. The emphasis is on the Patterdale area, though other parts of the Lake District are also referred to, and the work falls into a series of sections which group themselves into larger units, so that it becomes almost a four-movement work, played continuously.

Great Gable
Grasmoor (slow)
Grisedale Tarn

Haystacks (quick)
Catchedicam (Catstye Cam)

Angle Tarn (slow)

Grisedale Brow
Striding Edge (quick)

Additional note by Ruth E. DeSarno:

This transcription came about as part of a Ph.D dissertation submitted to the University of California, Los Angeles. The dissertation investigates transcriptions of brass band contest pieces as a musical bridge between the parallel development of brass bands in England and bands in the United States. My transcription of Cloudcatcher Fells remains true to John McCabe's original musical intent, while exploring the unique colours and textures of the contemporary Wind Ensemble. Mr McCabe has stated, "I'm absolutely delighted with the way you've transferred its sound world so convincingly to the mixed wind medium…I congratulate you on your achievement."

© John McCabe


Cloudcatcher Fells


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