Look what flopped onto the doormat today via Pennine Music – only a copy of George Allan’s composition “Phantom”. I’ve been excited about this one coming for a while as I originally ordered it back at the end of last year along with “Ovation” – it’s great to finally see it. I wonder what it sounds like. Various sheets provided describe it as either a Quick Step, or a Contest Quick Step. The photo above shows part of the Solo Cornet part.
What inspires the title we can’t say at this point. Maybe when we get to hear it we’ll have more of an idea as to what it could be. When I’ve been looking at titles of Allan pieces there are always a few possibilities. Some titles could just as easily be inspired by an 18th century racehorse, or a ship, or a locomotive. We discussed the possibility as to whether some of them are locomotive linked when we met on Monday night, and I’ll certainly take a deeper look at that possibility. Some of them sound like they are places (which they are) but again they could just as easily be titled after locomotives that might have been named after places. If I get anywhere with that ‘train of thought’ (if you’ll forgive the pun) then I will certainly write about it.
Earlier this week we had a meeting with the group’s Musical Director where we made plans to try to find out what some of these pieces that we’ve been acquiring sound like. We’ll announce more bout that in due course. But it was also an opportunity to exchange a few pieces that we’d collected. So I’d been able to give Steve the 12 pieces I’d picked up from Wright and Round, as well as the aforementioned Ovation. Brian handed over a copy of Silverdale he’d managed to acquire, which we were pleased to see. And Steve in return gave us some of the complete sets of George Allan work that he had acquired from the attic of the old bandroom in Shildon over a decade ago.
We’re lucky he still has some sets left to share as he had bundled much of what there was and provided complete sets to some of the best academic collections of music nationally for posterity.
What this means though is that we’ve quite a collection of George Allan in place to start projects to see them performed. Perhaps it cold be the beginning of a George Allan revival here in the North. We’ve taken some steps to start doing the same with some T E Bulch work also, but I will provide an update about that next time I write. But for now…..I must go…for the “Phantom” still lurks in these parts.