July 26, 2004

As Torrents In Summer

EDIT: Due to some obscure piece of copyright law meaning that a composers work is not out of copyright until the 31st of December, 70 years after their death (no matter what date of the year they died), I've had to take down the arrangement mentioned below, as it probably isn't legal!

Well, I've just finished my first proper arrangement for Brass Band, and I'm knackered.

It's an arrangement of the song "As Torrents In Summer" from the cantata "King Olaf" by Edward Elgar, and I'm rather pleased with it.

It was pure accident – I was only trying a basic 4 part hymn tune arrangement of it for pure band exercise purposes, but I realised I could do more with it than that (with some subtle influence from the setting of "The Irish Blessing" by Stephen Bradnum).

I first met this piece whilst at secondary school – it was a yearly event that the Boys' and Girls' schools would combine and perform a major work such as Handels Messiah or Mozarts Requiem, and in one year the Elgar-mad Head of Music from the Girls' school chose King Olaf. The "As Torrents In Summer" song has some beautiful words.

Have a listen folks and tell me what you think (you'll need to install the Scorch plugin for Internet Explorer if you haven't got it already).


- 5 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. David Sait

    Thanks to some very useful comments from Nigel Horne (www.bandsman.co.uk), the score has been changed slightly and uploaded again.

    27 Jul 2004, 15:35

  2. Suzette

    David, I got exposed to this song as a kid at a Catholic boarding school where my uncle was music master. This was in South Africa; the mission was run by German Benedictan nuns and my uncle together with the school choir, all black. Needless to say, the nuns did not understand, nor did they approve – " these kids are too young to be doing funny foreign music when they are still grappling with learning English, a foreign, second language and then you expect them to sing in it!" True, we didn't understand what the hell we were singing about but we certainly understood that music, in any language is still music and so we sang on…sang our tiny lungs out and impressed the hell out of those sceptical, doubting nuns. My uncle died and till now, I've never been able to share this music with anyone else or understand the lyrics exactly. But I will never forget this song. Thank you so much David, other than my late uncle, I never thought there'd ever be any other living soul that would have been exposed to this music, appreciated and educated me a little about its composer, origin etc.,

    12 Aug 2004, 04:06

  3. David Sait

    Suzette,

    Thanks for your message. When I first sang this I never understood the words myself. It's only on revisiting it now that I can appreciate it more.
    If you have a search around on the internet you can find out more about this I'm sure, but this link: link has the full text that As Torrents is taken from.

    12 Aug 2004, 10:20

  4. i have actually sung this in my school's "community choir", and i was really good.

    is ure arrangement still to be performed?

    07 Oct 2004, 10:51

  5. David Sait

    Yep, I'll get around to bring it to Brasssoc at some point.

    10 Oct 2004, 21:11


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  1. As Torrents In Summer - Now Available from NJH Music

    [I should have posted this ages ago.] My arrangement for Brass Band of "As Torrents in Summer" by Elgar has been published by NJH Music. Read more, download a sample score, and purchase it from www.bandsman.co.uk/torrents

    Wilby's blog - 23 Jul 2005, 14:47

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