Once you have clawed your way through this article, you will find the result of what I am writing about on YouTube either using the above link or by typing in the title above.
In 2014 I was the keyboard player at Ducklington Parish Church playing a Yamaha Clavinova CVP305 (or 205 – I can’t recall the model number!) and was asked to play for a wedding (not an uncommon thing) where the bride requested me to play the music used for the UEFA Champions League, as a surprise for her football loving fiancee before she arrived for the Wedding Service.
In for a penny in for a pound and trying to be helpful the reply was,”Yes, but have you got the printed music??” After much research on line there was no success in finding the written music, so I decided to contact the composer, Tony Britten, which was successful, only to discover that for ‘legal’ reasons the music was not published. But, I was told that a transcription of the music had been made by a musician from Spain called Antero Avila. Having contacted Antero he kindly sent me the transcribed music via the internet and I was able to print the music and get to work on preparing the piece. His only request was that I made the You Tube video so he could see and hear what I had done with the music! (His answer is on You Tube!)
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This began by listening to the recording of the UEFA anthem as used for the matches shown on television and annotating the score where the various orchestral instruments and choir were used. Chords used in the music had to be worked out for the basis of the recording to be undertaken, as you will see, there are NO chords mentioned above the Piano part!
Here’s an extract from the original 4 x A4 pages of the score:
Having established details such as Voices,(instruments) and tempo, it was then a case of how to put all what I wanted to include in the piece onto the CVP and where I was going to add voice changes (hence you can see some marked changes on the score.) It was obvious that I needed to add the Choir Voice, as those were the places in the Anthem where the Choir were singing. Also added to the score were words that the actual choir sang – they used 3 languages for various sections of the Anthem. I decided not to use any ‘accompaniment styles’ to keep as far as possible to an authentic ‘orchestral Baroque arrangement’.
The Anthem was composed based on ‘Zadok the Priest’ by Handel and I knew that the driving force of that music were the Strings, so that voice became the ‘bed’ for the whole ‘arrangement’ that I needed to ‘multi-track’ or another term, ‘Layer’.
It was also a question of laying down that first ‘track’ as the bed-rock of the whole arrangement, so as to give the music a very legato/sustained effect. This was duly done by recording the First track as a ‘SONG’ (tracks 1-8 on the keyboard enable 8 tracks to be recorded or layered, 9-16 are used for the accompaniment, which I was not using). This is where the ‘Chords’ worked out was used.
The original composition of Zadok gives the Strings broken chordal figures, which I decided for this occasion would not happen as I wanted the very lush sustained sounds of the strings to ‘glue’ all the other parts together!
After several attempts at ensuring that the whole of the string part was absolutely accurate and secure in it’s tempo AND saving the recording, I then set about recording the other tracks on top of the strings. Next came the ‘CHOIR’ voice, as this is used 18 times in the whole piece. Setting the first recording going and ensuring that track 2 was on ‘record’ I could listen to the strings and at the appropriate places play the choir parts (and hope that all has been recorded!) – any errors and it was start recording track 2 again!
Finally, I recorded the other instruments (Brass, Horn, Trumpet and full orchestra with timps for the ending, all on separate tracks) on top of the other 2. When finished, I played the whole recording to my satisfaction – and then SAVED the music to my ‘Wedding Music File’ on the keyboard.
NOW I could play live Piano using the material on the score (based on the quaver movement above) using my Orchestral arrangement memorised in the keyboard as the Piano’s Orchestral accompaniment. The result, as I mentioned is found on You Tube. (see end of this article for the video)
Used Keyboard Selection
And this is what I played at the Wedding, much to the Groom’s pleasure ( I hope! I could not see his face when I was playing!!) and the Bride’s delight.
How long did it take, I hear someone ask? From request to performance, around 4-6 weeks, what with research, listening, planning, practicing at home and in Church, setting up the registrations, and recordings, finally letting the Bride secretly hear the result, a week before the Wedding.
Extra to this (and that is why I wrote on the score the languages used in the Anthem) following the wedding, I used the words and melodies from the original anthem to teach Primary School Children to sing those particular melodies and accompanied them by using the recording I had made on the CVP in Church, which was easily transferrable to another CVP keyboard in a school, by means of a USB stick.
Eventually the children, performed the Anthem to Parents singing in French, German and English and had that ‘wow’ factor in the singing/performance.
Since then, I have become an owner of a Genos and have recently made a simplified ‘song’ recording of the same music, using just 2 tracks of Strings plus a Church Organ voice. more ‘voices’ to the song’, now I have recalled what I did in 2014!