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Neapolitan Serenade

For Solo Flute and Concert Band

Duration: c. 5.30 minutes








Programme Notes:

NEAPOLITAN SERENADE was especially composed for Rachel Smith and the Regimental Band of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards. The first performance took place in Tokyo, Japan in October, as part of the Band's 2005 Japanese Tour, under the direction of Major Graham O. Jones MBE. The first UK performance was given by the same forces at the Hawth Theatre in Crawley, West Sussex in November 2005. The first broadcast performance was again made by the commissioning forces on BBC Radio 2's 'Listen to the Band' series in April 2006. The work is essentially rhapsodic in nature and derives much of its melodic material from the harmonic implications of the 'Neapolitan Sixth' chord - that of the flattened supertonic, mostly found in minor key tonalities. After a compact introduction the solo flute enters with the principle theme of the piece. Following a brief interlude in the band, this is repeated in a developed fashion. The principle of solos and interludes continues up to the point where a brief quasi cadenza is reached. The opening material is returned to, always being transformed in some way, until a very free-style coda is encountered in which the solo flute, gradually and in a series of lyrical melismas, ascends to a final high and sustained 'major-seventh' note. The orchestration is deliberately transparent (with the exception of some of the band interludes) and features a prominent part for solo harp. The composer gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Rachel Smith in editing the solo part for both performance and publication.



Solo Flute

Piccolo, Oboe, Bb Clarinets 1.2.3, Bb Bass Clarinet, Bassoon,

Eb Alto Saxophones 1.2, Bb Tenor Saxophone,

Bb Trumpets, F Horns, Trombones 1.2.3, Euphonium, Tubas 1.2,

Double Bass, Harp,

Percussion 1.2.3


Percussion Requirements:



Performance Notes:


  • A piano reduction is also available on sale separately.


  • The Conductor should ensure that the accompaniment is kept to a dynamically low level during the solo flute passages without losing the underlying contrapuntal detail. It is therefore advisable to keep to the composer's indications regarding the number of players required at given points. The band interludes may be of a higher dynamic level, as the solo flute is not playing in those passages.


  • All the free (cadenza-style) figurations in the solo flute have been included in the band parts as cues. This will facilitate better judgement of how to execute the accompanying lines and ensure a confident sense of ensemble. It is intended that the soloist 'leads' these sections with the conductor assisting the band with their various entries and dovetailing effects.


  • The harp part can be played on a suitable electronic keyboard with 'harp' setting. The glissando in the penultimate bar can be 'worked-out' by the keyboard player to realise a suitable effect.


Available Recordings:

Bright Sunlit Morning - International Wind Band Music - Vol. 1

Flute: Rachel Smith

The Regimental Band Coldstream Guards

Cond.  Major Graham O. Jones MBE

Polyphonic Reproductions Ltd.


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