The Witches Frolic
Sax Trio, Flexible Scoring


Composer: Granville Bantock
Arranger: R. Stevens
Ensemble: Sax Trio, FLEXIBLE
Format: Score (8 pp), parts (2pg ea), 8.5 x 11″
Length: 2 – 2.5 minutes
Difficulty: Grade 4 (Moderate)

SKU: 1391-3 Category: Tags: , ,

The Witches Frolic(1926)
Granville Bantock (1868 – 1946)
Saxophone Trio, Flexible Scoring

The Witches Frolic, by Granville Bantock, arranged for Saxophone Trio, flexible scoring. The Witches Frolic was composed in 1926, originally as part of the incidental music for a prodction of Macbeth, and rearranged for bassoon trio the following year by the composer. This version is for saxophone trio, flexible scoring.

The piece opens with a jerky, rhythmic tune. After that’s established, the second part joins in. When the third part joins, new material is added, sometimes lyrical, sometimes rhythmic. From there the work expands and goes on a fun journey with one part having the main melody and the others providing backup accompaniment. After a fanfare coda the piece sweeps up and down scales for a lively ending.

The opening tempo indication of Witches Frolic by Bantock for flex sax trio is Allegretto grottesco. About 108 – 116 bpm is a good tempo. At the coda the tempo increases to about 124 bpm. It is in 6/8 throughout. The piece is in the original keys of D minor D major. For saxophones, the key is somewhat challenging. The overall range of the piece is quite low. The performance time is between 2 – 2.5 minutes.

Along with a trio score of The Witches Frolic, the following parts are included:

  • Part 1 for Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, or Baritone Saxophone
  • Part 2 for Tenor Saxophone, or Baritone Saxophone
  • Part 3 for Baritone Saxophone or Bass Saxophone

Parts may be played in any combination.

  • The range for each saxophone part is shown below.
  • Audio and score excerpts are available above.
  • Registered users can download a complete sample score and full length audio file of The Witches Frolic
    Sax Trio, Flexible Scoring on the ‘Samples’ tab.

The Witches Frolic by Granville Bantock arranged for saxophone trio flexible scoring

About the Composer

The Witches Frolic by Granville Bantock arranged for Saxophone Trio, flexible scoringSir Granville Ransome Bantock (Aug. 7, 1868 – Oct. 16, 1946) was a British composer and conductor, born in London. His parents hoped he might enter the Indian Civil Service, but poor health prevented him from that. He began a degree in chemical engineering, but around 20 years old, he changed his interests to music. His first teacher was at Trinity College of Music, and in 1888 he entered the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Frederick Corder.

Bantock’s conducting took him around the world, and he was known at times for devoting an entire concert to one composer. He was professor at the University of Birmingham (succeeding Sir Edward Elgar) from 1908 – 1934, and elected Chairman of the Corporation of Trinity College of Music in London. He was knighted in 1930.

Bantock’s output was not insignificant, and he wrote for many different genres, including opera, oratorio, symphonic works, choral works, and chamber music in less common configurations.



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Sax Trio, Flexible Scoring”

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About the Composer

Orlando Gibbons, composer of Fantasy in Three PartsOrlando Gibbons, (??December 1583 – 5 June 1625) Orlando Gibbons came from a musical family. His father William was a musician in Oxford, and his brother William played the organ in Exeter. Orlando’s musical career started at age 13, when he joined the King’s College choir. He matriculated at King’s College in 1599, received a Bachelor of Music degree from Cambridge in 1606, and Doctor of Music from Oxford in 1622.

Gibbons was a favorite court musician during the reign of King James I and later, King Charles . He was appointed organist for the Royal Chapel in 1605, and for Westminster Abbey in 1623. He had a hugely successful career, and found time to compose anthems, madrigals, fantasias, and dances.

There are many missing links in the historical record of Orlando Gibbons. Possibly his brother Edward had something to do with securing Orlando his first royal post. He was only 19 when he began service at the court of King James I and remained in royal service until his sudden death from a brain hemorrhage when he was in his early forties.

Often Gibbons and his music and his music are discussed under the banner ‘Tudor’. It is true that his formative training was indeed Tudor, but Gibbons was nearing the end of his teens when Elizabeth I died. More properly he should be labeled a Jacobean composer. There is much that places him in the forefront of early 17th-century musical development in England.

Gibbons wrote Anglican services, anthems, and hymn tunes; madrigals, consort songs, and keyboard music, and of course ensemble music for strings like this Fantasy  although the relative paucity of music for his own instrument(s) may be a testament to his improvisatory skills. His musical style is modeled on that of William Byrd, who like Gibbons was an accomplished keyboard performer.

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