Le Roi d’Ys – Edouard Lalo

The arrangement by Frank Wright for brass bands of Le Roi d’Ys is one of my “desert island discs”.

In October 1971, when I was still new to brass bands, I was invited by our conductor, Fred Ingham, to go to the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall with some others from the band. Having survived the mad dash down the M6 and M1 (in our repiano cornet player’s Jaguar, at considerably above the speed limit), I found myself listening to the cream of the bands of the time playing Le Roi d’Ys as the test piece – with Wingates winning the Championships. This was the first time I’d heard such quality and power in brass bands, and that together with the, to me, beauty of the piece, made my decision to remain with our band easy, despite the normal teenage distractions. I did not get a short score of the piece at the time – the version below I picked up many years later – but I did get one for “Energy” in 1991, and regretted it !


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