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Blog Category: tutti talk

Apples and Pears

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Categories: british composers, contemporary classical music, tutti talk

I was responding recently to a composer whose beef was that the Establishment (do we still use that term?!) continues to favour musical styles which are dissonant, complex and impenetrable and continues to disregard musical styles which are consonant, discernible and accessible.

The short answer is that more difficult music needs platforms if it is to be given a chance at being heard, approached and understood, while less difficult music tends naturally to be more widely received.  If we go beyond that simple statement, we quickly enter the realms of subjectivity and taste which of course is what all art comes down to in the end as it has no life without an audience.

It has always been a puzzle to me as to why difference or diversity should be an issue at any level.  Our created world is strewn with variety and it follows that creative work will mirror that.  Rather than address why dissonant should be favoured over consonant or white over black or rich over poor, I’d far rather celebrate multifariousness and that’s where I get on to apples and pears.

Actually, aside from music, my current other passion is the orchard we are about to create with traditional Norfolk apple and pear varieties such as Striped Beefing, Emneth Early, Adam’s Pearmain and, happily for a musician, Falstaff Red.

At tutti we have a complete apples and pears approach where the music we promote can be as sharp as a Beefing, as sweet as a Pearmain, as juicy as an Emneth or as dry as a Falstaff.

I’m not telling you which is which, but here are some composers for your tasting –

John McLeod   Julian Dawes  Jane Wells  Julia Usher

Sarah Rodgers

a beautiful autumn Norfolk morning

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Categories: teaching music, tutti talk

It’s a beautiful autumn Norfolk morning with the mist rolling off the fields.  I’m in the mood to talk about music.  You might think that sounds strings and harps but today it means trombones!  Fields – hunting – horns – trombones – I got there somehow, so please read on. tutti has nearly 300 pieces of sheet music for trombone or bass trombone.

Our catalogue includes some of the more unusual repertoire set for the UK instrumental examination boards, such as Scott Joplin’s Magnetic Rag set for Trinity Guildhall advanced performer’s certificate – this is an excellent recital piece and not just for the exam room.

We also have some of the best tutors such as Eliezer Aharoni’s New Method for the Modern Bass Trombone

If you like your trombones in crowds, how about Gershwin’s A portrait for 8 trombones or if that is simply too many instruments, there is a Corelli Sonata for 2 trombones and many other works for combinations in between.

If you find it hard to get hold of other players, then Eliezer Aharoni has put together arrangements of popular music with accompanying CDs.  You can easily get hold of his collection called The Non-Classic Bass Trombone.

And just to round off, here’s a video of Aharoni and UK trombonist Jonathan Warburtongiving a rendition of the Pink Panther, with a little help from the audience.

To have a browse through all music for trombone on tutti, simply go to the homepage and enter trombone in the search box, or for easy access, follow this link to trombone music on tutti

Sarah Rodgers

Baroque Spring

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Categories: eclectic music, tutti talk

In one of my early tutti talks, I mentioned the BBC Radio 3 blockbuster series Baroque Spring, which was presented throughout the month of March.  This was such a dynamic and comprehensive overview of a period of music which has underpinned and nurtured so much which followed that I felt it was deserving of an entire tutti talk to itself.

When I say Baroque music has fed into the repertoire that followed it, there are great examples in 20th and 21st century music of how inspiring the baroque composers have been.

To take just a few random examples –

in jazz, the Jacques Loussier Trio and the Swingle Singers; in popular music, Procul Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale and more recently, a marvellous arrangement of Let it Be, written for Lesley Garrett and recorded on her CD The Singer.

Then there are some of the direct tributes such as Percy Grainger’s Handel in the Strand or Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (on a theme by Purcell), here played by the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

For the more quirky – have a look at this mobile/cellphone video – a very enterprising way to spend their advertising budget!

If you type the word baroque into the tutti searchbox, I guarantee you will be surprised at what pops up!

It’s a lovely summer’s day here in Norfolk and I’m looking out into clear skies – England are dominating the battle for the Ashes and the weekend beckons – close to perfect!!

Sarah Rodgers


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Categories: british composers, tutti talk

tutti talk is our latest email strand and this is the first edition.

We know music is your passion – it’s our passion, too which is why we want to share with you the thoughts, ideas, events and opportunities that we hope will interest you.

The first thing to let you know is that tutti has just launched a facebook page.  It’s really easy to find but here’s a link for your first visit –

Just in this first week, we have gained nearly 500 followers and are connected through our friends to nearly 15,000 people.  We’d love you to visit the tutti facebook page and like us.

Looking back to 2012, we saw the loss of three immensely fine composer – Elliott Carter at 103, Jonathan Harvey, 73 and Richard Rodney Bennett at 76.  They all made unique contributions to 20th and 21st century music and I’m pleased to say we have examples of their work at tutti.

RRB was of course well known for his film music, including Far from the Madding Crowd, Nicholas and Alexandra and Murder on the Orient Express – three very different cinematic genres.  At tutti we have an interesting recording which couples Bennett’s work with that of Ben Britten, Roberto Gerhard and Elisabeth Lutyens (a much under-rated English composer who deserves a tutti talk all her own!).  You can find the NMC CD here .

Jonathan Harvey’s piano piece, typically tersely titled – ff – was commissioned as part of the first Spectrum collection for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.  This is another enterprising NMC recording.

Sarah Rodgers

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