**************** Conductor Author
Symphonic Arrangments Operatic Arrangements
Transcriptions Piano Reductions
Arrangements for Wind Symphony Orchestra
Portrait of the artist as a young(ish) MetroGnome.
(Apologies to James Joyce and Dylan Thomas)
After 50 years as a
Symphonic and Operatic conductor (see Biography and Discography below)
I am now utilising that experience to enlarge the orchestral
and symphonic woodwind repertoire by
transcribing suitable works by such composers as Bach,
Handel, Tchaikovsky and
Elgar who, like Mozart, Ravel and Britten were pre-eminent
in this genre. Also included are orchestral arrangements from a number of
operas the precedent being Mozart who revelled in hearing his Figaro
played by ensembles without voices. Idomeneo
for instance provides
ample opportunity for instrumental soloists to shine in mini concerti, Puccini’s
La Boheme which abounds in superb instrumental writing and
Elisir d’amore being packed
delicious melodies that provide a delightful addition to an orchestra's
repertoire. I welcome suggestions of suitable
non-copyright works and for further details concerning scores and
parts etc. either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via web
site of Noteworthy
Productions (see LINKS
Bach Fantasie & Fugue in A Minor.
This transcription has three violin parts as in his Brandenburg Concerto No.3. The Fantasie has a monumental feeling balanced by the Fugue's more lyrical elements.
Passacaglia & Fugue in C Minor BWV 582
Originally for either Cembalo or Organ the Fugue flows out of the Passacaglia without a break in which the subject is woven contrapuntally with the bass of the Passcaglia.
Dowland Divers Dowland (My title).
From his twenty-two Lachrimae or Seven Tears figured in seven passionate Pavans with divers other Pavans, Galiards and Almands five have been extracted for string orchestra or quintet consisting of 1st. and 2nd. Violins, Viola, 1st. and 2nd. Cellos with optional Double-Bass. Altgernatively, a 3rd. Violin can take the place of the Viola with the 1st. Cello taking the Viola line. Being in a totally different idiom from the music of later periods, these pieces make a valuable addition to the string repertoire.
M. John Langton’s Pavan
M. Bucton’s Galiard
M. George Whitehead His Almand
M. Henry Noel His Galiard
The King of Denmark’s Galiard
Elgar Malvern Music (My title).
Idylle Opus 4 No.1
Pastourelle Opus 4 No.2
Virelai Opus 4 No.3
These three pieces, originally for Violin and Piano were composed when Elgar was still teaching the violin in Malvern and exemplify his burgeoning skill as a composer. They have been arranged for string orchestra or quartet incoperating the bowing and fingering by Elgar himself. The original solo violin part has been divided between the 1st. and 2nd. Violins so that both can enjoy his writing. The Idylle was inspired by a romantic holiday in Scotland and dedicated to a young lady whose initials were the same as his own! Pastourelle has the feel of the undulating English countryside while Virelai is an example of his fondness for riddles: a Virelai (old French lyric poetic style) had two rhymes to a stanza variously arranged, but as Elgar's Virelai is without a text, the title remains an enigma! At that time he was trying to sell his compositions by using French, German or Italian titles as England was still "Das Lande ohne Musik" hence the French titles and the dedication of Virelai to a Malvern friend!
Songs without Words (My
Throught his life Elgar composed many choral part songs though the texts weren't always of the best. Nevertheless the music is always lyrical and rarely extend beyond the stave so thet are excellent pieces for a young String Orchestra (with optional Double-Bass) or for String Quartet though the third one requires a sextet.
Many a dusty mile (Opus 45 No. 3)
O Happy Eyes (Opus 18 No. 1)
My love dwelt in a Northern Land (Opus 18 No. 3)
As torrents in summer (from King Olaf Opus 30)
Many a dusty mile has independent antiphonal solos for Cello and Viola. O happy Eyes is serene indicating his love and affection for his wife Caroline Alice who composed the text. My love dwelt in a Northern Land in A minor has a feeling of nostalgia with a soaring duet in octaves for Solo Violin and Viola in F major by way of contrast. As torrents in summer has a chorale like quality that lingers long in the memory.
Handel Chaconne in A major
Dating from 1734, Handel incorporated this Chaconne in two partitas and in his Serenata Parnasso in Festa. It opens majestically that develops exuberantly before a calm interlude in the minor key. With modern string instruments and larger ensembles, the continuo is usually lost in the overall texture and, as the modern conductor stands in a central position instead of seated at the keyboard, it is no longer so necessary.
Tchaikovsky Suite for Strings (my title).
Valse Opus 40 No. 9
Romance Opus 5
Polka Opus 9 No. 2
Dance Russe Opus 40 No.1
These four pieces were originally for piano, the Valse in F sharp minor which is an unusual key for a waltz, though the middle section is in A major with a flowing melody straddling the bar lines. The Romance in F minor, has an oriental flavour with a distinctly martial middle section followed by a vivacious Polka and a Dance Russe in contrasting tempi.
Album for the Young. Opus 39
From Tchaikovski's original twenty-four pieces for piano, nine have been arranged for young players providing excellent educational material either for string orchestra with optional double-bass or for quartet as they encompass a wide range of tempo, rhythm, mood, figuration and colour.
March of the wooden soldiers (Tempo di Marcia)
Dolls’ Funeral (Grave)
Kamarinskaya (a village dance usually performed at weddings).
Neapolitan Song (With a strong rhythmic impetus)
Old French melody (A simple cantabile melody)
The little Horseman (Galop)
Baba Yaga (A witch who cooked her victims, usually children.)
String Ensemble: (Quartet/Quintet/Sextet)
Dowland Divers Dowland (see String Orchestra above)
Elgar Malvern Music (see String Orchestra above)
Songs without Words (See String Orchestra above)
Tchaikovsky Album for the Young (See String Orchestra above)
Elgar Sursum Corda Opus 11. “Elevation" (German) “Andacht” (Devotion) Orchestra: 2/2/2/2: 4/2/3/1: Timp/Strings.
After visiting Bayreuth, Elgar’s music began to take on darker hues as in this work described by Jerrold Northrop Moore - the eminent Elgar scholar - as “aspiration ennobled within darkening nostalgia”.
Opera (without voices)
Donizetti Elisir d’amore. Suite comprising Preludio: Scena: Scherzino; Duetto:Romanza: and Finale (my titles).
Orchestra: 2/(2nd d.Picc./2/2 Clarinets/ 2:2/
2/3(optional): Timpani/ Percussion (optional):Strings.
The opening Preludio has a pastorale flavour with a middle section for solo clarinet and horn. Scena has a waltz like character alternating with an exuberant country-dance. The vicacious Scherzino is dominated in the middle section by a solo clarinet while the Duetto has been arranged as a 'Concertino for Violin and Orchestra'. The Romanza is the famous aria “Una furtiva lagrima” transcribed for a solo oboe; the original harp part is cued in the lower strings. The Finale is in two sections, the first being an elegiac Larghetto that highlights the woodwind leading to an exciting Allegro Vivace to conclude the Suite.
Mozart Idomeneo. Suite comprising the Overture: Concertante for Solo Clarinet,
Flute, Oboe, Bassoon and Horn: Drama for full orchestra:
Aria I for Flute or Oboe: Aria II for Viola or Cello:
Arietta for Oboe and a final Marcia.
Orchestra: 2/2/2/ 2: 2 /2:Timpani: Strings.
The very dramatic Overture oscillates between D major and minor. The Concertante (my title) for Clarinet is based on the aria in which Mozart composed obligati for the other woodwind instruments. The Drama (my title) for full orchestra is powerful and dissonant befitting the drama at this point. The Aria I is for either flute or oboe with string accompaniment while Aria II is for Viola (or Cello) interwoven with Mozart's own pizzicati in the upper strings and the chromatic woodwind in thirds and sixths. The Arietta has a beautiful oboe solo as the middle section of what originally was a serene choral movement. The exuberant Marcia with gurgling woodwind, trumpets and drums makes a fitting conclusion to the Suite
Puccini Souvenir of Boheme.
Orchestra: 2/2/2/2: 4/2/3:Timpani/Percussion: Harp/Strings.
Three movements have been extracted from the opera without alteration to Puccini’s orchestration though the cor anglais and bass clarinet parts are cued in other parts for orchestras that don't have those instruments.
I The opening of Act 1 leading into the duet scene for Mimi and Rodolfo.
II Musetta’s Waltz originally composed as a piano piece then orchestrated for brass
band (to launch a battleship) and the closing Stage Band.
III The Ruolfo/Marcello duet in Act 4 followed by the entrance of Mimi and Musetta and the closing pages of the opera.
Wind Symphony Orchestra
La Boheme (Two movements)
Ensemble: Flutes, Oboes, E flat Clarinet. Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Bassoons, Saxophones, Horns,Trumpets, Euphonium, Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion.
I. The Lovers.
II. Street Scene.
The first movement is the opening of Act 1 flowing into the scene between Mimi and Rudolfo. The second movement is the opening of Act II followed by Musetta's Waltz and the band music that concludes the act.
Sursum Corda Opus
11. “Elevation" (German)
Ensemble: Flutes, Oboes, E flat Clarinet, Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophones, Horns, Trumpets, Euphonium, Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion.
After visiting Bayreuth,
Elgar’s music began to take on darker hues as in this work
described by Jerrold Northrop Moore - the eminent
Elgar scholar - as “aspiration ennobled within darkening nostalgia”.
A short biography
I studied harmony, counterpoint and orchestration, keyboard and viola, and taught myself the double-bass followed by a period at the Dartington College of the Arts. I then whent to London to study at The Opera School with Vilem Tausky and Peter Gellhorn. After completing formal studies I had a number of conducting lessons with Sir Adrian Boult, assisted Sir Charles Mackerras on BBC television operas (Carmen and La Traviata) and Otto Klemperer when he recorded Così fan tutte.
From 1959 to 1974 I worked at Glyndebourne initially as Chorus
Master, then Conductor and finally as First
Head of Music
Staff. I was instrumental in the formation of Glyndebourne
Touring Opera (now Glyndebourne on Tour) and became it's initial Music
Director concurrent with conducting engagements in Ireland, Belgium,
In 1970 I was awarded a medal Per Servizio della Musica e Cultura Italiana.
During that same period my recordings included Inscape by Edmund Rubbra coupled with the Elegie and Concerto for Strings by Robert Still for Decca. For Lyrita I recorded his Symphony No. 4 and works by Arthur Benjamin and Delius followed by the world première recordings of the 1st. and 2nd. Symphonies by Arnold Bax and the 6th. and 16th. Symphonies by Havergal Brian for the same company that have now been re-released on CD by Nimbus/Wyanstone.
After making my debut with the
Australian Opera in
1974 in the
newly opened Sydney Opera House I accepted an appointment
with the New Opera Company
in Adelaide, South Australia as it's first
Director. After it then became The
Opera of South Australia I conducted Australian premières of Tippett’s
Marriage (in the presence of the composer), and Britten’s
Death in Venice at consecutive Adelaide
From 1980 to 2000 I
was Head of the Opera
School at the Sydney Conservatorium and regularly conducted the six
symphony orchestras in concerts
and recordings as well as for the Australian Opera
Opera Australia) later becoming
one of their Artistic
Associates. Australian recordings have
included Puccini’s Le Villi (producer John
Apocalypse by Goossens, Job and the Partita for
Orchestra by Vaughan
Williams, The Prima
Donna by Arthur Benjamin and
recordings of Peter Sculthorpe’s
Piano Concerto and television
With the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra I have conducted for Naxos CD's of works by Britten and Delius while international invitations have taken me to England, Canada, America, Argentina and Uruguay and, for a number of years I was Artistic Director of a Summer School in Salt Lake City.
The Conductor’s Domain; a guide for aspiring maestri. (Thames Publishing/William Elkin Music Services:ISBN 0-903413515) Foreword by Sir Charles Mackerras ‘I warmly recommend this book to anyone wanting to take up the complex profession of conducting; and I might say that there are many points made by Myer Fredman in the course of the book of which even older and experienced maestri might well take heed’. From Idomeneo to Die Zauberflöte; A conductor’s commentary. (Sussex AScademic Press: ISBN 1-903900-10-7) Foreword by Sir Charles Mackerras. ‘There is plenty that the professional musician can learn from Myer Fredman and many an interesting fact or comment which can be appreciated by layman and professional alike. It is a pleasure to welcome this excellent addition to the already vast literature about these towering masterpieces’. The Drama of Opera: exotic and irrational entertainment. (Sussex Academic Press: ISBN 1-903900-49-2) and (1-903900-50-6) Foreword by Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge ‘This fascinating book is for those who love opera, those who know nothing about opera, and especially for those who know what they like but don’t know why. Every piece of information you could conceivably want to know about the ‘exotic and irrational entertainment’ is to be found between these covers'. Maestro, Conductor or Metro-gnome? Reflections from the Rostrum. (Sussex Academic Press:ISBN 1-84519-124-2) for concertgoers to appreciate how they differ and, to show how a career may enfold including my own pilgrim's progress!
Symphonies 1 & 2
Bax Symphony No. 3 Sydney Symphony ABC
Benjamin Overture to an Italian Comedy. Royal Philharmonic Lyrita
Britten Sinfonia da Requiem New Zealand Symphony Naxos
An American Overture
Peter Grimes;Four Sea Interludes
Brian Symphony No. 6 & 16 London Philharmonic Lyrita
Butterley Sometimes with One I Love Adelaide Symphony ABC
Delius Walk to the Paradise Gardens Royal Philharmonic Lyrita
Paris; Brigg Fair; Eventyr; New Zealand Symphony Naxos
Prelude to Irmelin: La Calinda
Edwards Piano Concerto Queensland Symphony ABC
Elgar Enigma Variations :Nursery Suite Sydney Symphony ABC
Goossens The Apocalypse Sydney Symphony ABC
Meale Images Adelaide Symphony Sarec
Puccini Le Villi Adelaide Symphony ABC
Respighi Piano Concerto Sydney Symphony Marco Polo
Rubbra Inscape Jacques Orchestra. Decca
Sculthorpe Piano Concerto Melbourne Symphony ABC
Still Elegy & Concerto for Strings Jacques Orchestra Decca
Symphony No. 4 Royal Philharmonic Lyrita Vaughan Williams Partita for Double String Orchestra Sydney Symphony ABC
Havergal Brian http://www.havergalbrian.org
Arnold Bax http://www.musicweb.uk.net/bax/Fredman.htm
Peter Sculthorpe http://www.fabermusic.co.uk
Robert Still http://www.grahammusto.btinternet.co.uk/Robert_Still
The Orchestras of Australia Network (TOAN) http://www.orchetrasaustralia.org.au
The Penrith Symphony Orchestra http://www.pso.org.au
Noteworthy Productions http://www.noteworthyproductions.com.au
William Elkin Music Services. http://www.elkinmusic.co.uk
Sussex Academic Press. http://www.sussex-academic.co.uk
The British Music Society http://www.musicweb.uk.net/BMS
Australian Singing Competition. http://www.aussing.com
Myer Fredman; April 2008