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979-0-57020-126-6 Even in flames, the Thames can't hold a candle to the Wandle – Score Available at MusicRoom Buy now (£8.95)
979-0-57020-127-3 Even in flames, the Thames can't hold a candle to the Wandle – Parts On hire On hire


Rivers flow through times as well as places, so this little passacaglia with its 10-and-a-bit variations traces the mysterious river Wandle through the 20th century from its origins near Croydon.  It wanders through open spaces, past  sewage works, greyhound tracks, innumerable pubs and churches, a brewery, two world wars and a depression only to disappear beneath a shopping centre before slipping quietly into the Thames at Wandsworth, below the hill on which I and three other generations of my family lived.  The piece was written as a small  memorial on the 20th anniversary of the death of  the composer Don Banks. Don lived above the source of the Wandle, and made an early living playing the Wurlitzer organ in the Granada, Tooting, nearby.  You may just hear a faint echo of his jazzy style.

Even in Flames was commssioned by COMA as part of the millennium celebration-concert given by the COMA London Orchestra conducted by Gregory Rose, held at Toynbee Hall, London, on 2nd December 2000.


6 minutes

COMA Ensemble cond. Gregory Rose, Toynbee Hall, London, 2nd December 2000

1 Woodwind 1 (multiple flutes/recorders), 1 Woodwind 2 (oboe/B flat clarinet/alto sax), 1 Woodwind 3 (bass clarinet/bassoon), 1 Brass 1 (B-flat trumpet/cornet), 1 Brass 2 (tenor trombone/E flat tenor horn), 1 Orchestral Strings
Composition date