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IV. FANTASIA ON THE "DARGASON" (FROM THE SECOND SUITE IN F) - Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger - 5-6 octave handbells with optional 5 octave handchimes - Level V
The 'Dargason' is an English folk tune that goes back to the 16th century. The tune is carried continually in one voice or another throughout this entire fantasia, despite all the variations in treatment that occur. With Greensleeves (What Child Is This?) interspersed throughout, this makes a great Christmas selection, as well. A fitting conclusion to a wonderful suite!
I. MARCH (FROM THE SECOND SUITE IN F) - Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger - 3-7 octave handbells with optional 3 octave handchimes - Level V
A variety of techniques, crossing bell/chime lines, and fun 6/8 middle section make this march a challenge to play, but the fun makes it all worthwhile.
SECOND SUITE IN F - Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger - 3-7 octave handbells with optional 3-6 octave handchimes - Levels III-V
One of Gustav Holst's most famous compositions, the Second Suite in F for Military Band is a staple of college and high school symphonic bands. This transcription carefully re-creates the sounds, colors, textures, and moods of the original using only bells and optional chimes, with no other instruments. Each movement is a gem, and together they are a real treasure, sure to please any audience.
III. "SONG OF THE BLACKSMITH" (FROM THE SECOND SUITE IN F) - Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger - 4-5 octave handbells - Level IV
A short, quick, slightly dissonant piece that featured an actual anvil in the original version. A C8 substitutes, but any metallic anvil sound can be used if necessary. It's a big crescendo that ends with a most triumphant Picardy third.
AVE VERUM CORPUS - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/arr. Scott Pfitzinger - 2 octave handbells with 3-5 octave handchimes (or 3-5 octave handbells) - Level III
This simple and reverent Eucharistic hymn by Mozart, originally for SATB choir, strings, and organ, is designed to allow the melody to shine on bells while the accompaniment is played on chimes. However, it can be played on all bells or chimes if desired. While particularly effective in a worship service or mass, this piece can also add a touch of simple elegance and reverence to a concert.
MINUTE WALTZ - Frederic Chopin/trans. Scott Pfitzinger - 3-7 octave handbells - Level IV
Chopin's "Minute Waltz" is a favorite classical piano piece and is only "minute" because it is small. Handbell ensembles are welcome to take this at any tempo they choose, without pressure that it should take only one minute to play.