Rudy Volkmann | Rudy Volkmann - Octoberfest for Brass Quintet

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Holiday: Folk Holiday: Folk Moods: Mood: Fun
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Rudy Volkmann - Octoberfest for Brass Quintet

by Rudy Volkmann

This is a compilation of typical Octoberfest dance songs (polkas, waltzes, tangos) written and/or arranged for brass quintet; performance is a MIDI audio extraction from the scores.
Genre: Holiday: Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Patterson Polka
2:42 $0.99
2. In München Steht Ein Hofbräu Haus
2:57 $0.99
3. Der Lustige Schweitzer Waltz
3:58 $0.99
4. In Den Bergen
3:01 $0.99
5. Tango Para Rosemary
3:28 $0.99
6. The Lindsey
3:35 $0.99
7. Schwarzbraun Ist Die Haselnuss and Ein Jager Aus Kurpfals
2:30 $0.99
8. Whitehouse Waltz
4:12 $0.99
9. Rainsford Polka
3:42 $0.99
10. Waltz for Peggy
2:33 $0.99
11. Ursula Brady
4:25 $0.99
12. Tango Para Un Amor Perdido
6:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This album is the result of my twenty-five year-plus participation in two disparate groups - the famous Channellheimer Oompah Band and the Savannah River Brassworks. The Channellheimers is an amazing group of free-wheeling musicians whose style includes a great deal of internal-part improvisation and counterpoint (I love counterpoint); the Savannah River Brassworks is an adventuresome concert group - our CD is available on CD Baby.

Over the many years I composed a number of original tunes for the Channellheimers which we incorporated into our performance repertoire; we also developed some standard performance practices of a number of traditional German tunes. At some point the members of the quintet heard one of our Octoberfest festival performances and thought it would be fun to play some of those tunes as a quintet -- this album is the result. Here are some track notes (sheet music is available for all of these- find me on Facebook):

Patterson Polka is a rollicking dance tune with some interesting tuba/trombone counterpoint, everyone getting a shot at melody sections and even "Schuhplattler" or "slap-dance" section to break things up.

In München Steht Ein Hofbräu Haus is the international anthem of the Octoberfest season. A waltz, this arrangement features a lot of melodic exchanges.

Der Lustige Schweitzer: The Channellheimers were hired for a festival in Greenville, SC in honor of the city's newest major manufacturing plant - a company based in Switzerland; even the Swiss consul was to be in attendance. I wrote this piece in commemoration. Another waltz, there are a couple of interesting contrapuntal sections first, between the horn and trumpets, and another between the tuba and trombone.

In Den Bergen is a traditional hiking/marching song. I composed a number of countermelodies to make it a bit more interesting.

Tango para Rosemary: While certainly waltzes and polkas dominate the Octoberfest dance scene, the Channellheimers are also often asked for tangoes. There was a dearth of those in our book, so I wrote this one for those occasions -- it's named for my significant other (Rosemary Forrest).

The Lindsey, also known as Elli's Waltz, is a fairly late composition, and started life as a Channellheimer alphorn feature. The Channellheimers had an excellent alphornist (Jim Ghighi) whose playing inspired several of these pieces. The end of the tune is an example of triple-counterpoint -- that is, all three of the themes in the earlier part of the tune are played against each other in some fashion or another. I wrote it for one of my fencing students who had taken up ballroom dance.

Schwarzbraun Ist Die Haselnuss and Ein Jäger Aus Kurpfals are two completely unrelated traditional hiking/marching songs, each with many verses. As individual pieces, though, they are too short for polkas, so I combined the two in a minuet-and-trio format; it seems to work well. I also added some frills here and there as well as a countermelody at the end.

The Whitehouse Waltz has nothing to do with Washington, D.C. John and Marilyn Whitehouse of Edgefield, SC were early patrons of the Channellheimers, and I wrote this tune as a way of thanking them. There is some interesting counterpoint at the end of the Trio section (two different melodies between the trombone and tuba), lots of melodic interchanges.

Rainsford Polka: Bettis Rainsford of Edgefield, SC was another early patron of the Channellheimers, so I wrote this tune to thank him as well. There's another interesting countrapunctal section at the end of this Trio as well, and lots of melodic interchanges.

Waltz for Peggy is just that -- an early piece written to impress a lady friend about the same time as the previous two pieces. As with those other two, there is lots of melodic exchange, and some more counterpoint in the Trio section.

Ursula Brady is a memorial piece; she was a member of the German Friendship club that used to hire the Channellheimers in our early days. Tall, elderly, graceful, with her long grey hair carefully braided and wrapped around her head with small flowers, she always came alone, as her husband was unable to dance any longer. She spent hours waltzing by herself - one hand holding the edge of her dirndl high in the air, eyes closed, swirling, remembering, swirling, remembering . . . . The piece started life as an alphorn feature -- I wrote the last section first, (the words Ursula Brady can be sung to the French Horn solo); and the very ending is an example of true triple-counterpoint -- that is, all three of the themes of the piece are played simultaneously.

Tango Para Un Amor Perdido is the only piece on the CD that did not start life as a Channellheimer tune. And, strictly speaking, it's not even a dance tune as it is too long for a conventional dance piece, but I wanted another tango on the CD. Inspired (somewhat) by a YouTube dance performance called "Santiago's Dream," I wrote it for a friend who loves tangos. I used the themes of the piece as a movement in my Symphony in Bb MInor for Symphonic Band.

Cover Photo: is me (Dr. Rudy Volkmann) on the left and trumpeter Fabio Mann on the right (the only other member of both groups); anything I write for trumpet pretty much has Fabio in mind.



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Bruce Camblin

Good Tunes!
Rudy has put together a fun group of tunes for brass quintets to include in their repertoire! Our quintet has programed several of them often.