Composed by J. J. White
for Solo Piccolo and Flute Choir
Arranged by Robert Rainford
Published by Forton Music
Includes score and parts
Contr’alto Flute (Optional)
Contrabass Flute (Optional)
Sub-Contrabass Flute in G (Optional)
Double Contrabass Flute in C (Optional)
John Jesse White (1833-1916) was a violinist, organist, and composer. Originally born in London, his father moved the family to Birmingham while John was still a young child. He became musical director for the Theatre Royal, Birmingham at the early age of 20. He later moved to study in Paris, and for a time he was a first violin at the Theatre Lyrique. Unusually for the time, he then moved to South America where he spent many years. On December 8th, 1863 he played violin for the early Masses in the Church of the Company of Jesus in Santiago, Chile. He left immediately after due to a prior engagement; at the later Mass the church caught fire and around 2500 people were killed. In 1881 he was back in Europe, working at Bayreuth. Whilst in Germany he met and married his wife Matilde; they went on to have six children. Soon after this the family returned to England, although the change of climate brought on a long and dangerous illness for the composer. He gave lectures and recitals in the Birmingham area, before being appointed Musical Director of Southport Winter Gardens in 1886. He remained there for nine years; in 1895 he moved to London where he died in 1916.
It is not clear when this piece was compsoed. After a martial opening, the soloist trills and skips along over the main melody in the acompanying ensemble, decorating the tune with fleeting scales and arpeggio patterns. There are several virtuosic passages for the solo piccolo before the opening martial theme ushers in a more melodic section, this time led by the piccolo soloist. On the reprise of this theme, the first flute joins to make it a duet. After this the martial feel of the opening returns, this time developed into a full blown march with a canonic duet between the two highest flute plarts. The piccolo then joins with a series of rapid chromatic scales. The music then returns to the earlier sections, before leading into a coda featuring a series of flourishing arpeggios leading right up to a high B flat.