Kentucky Mountain Portraits
by Lyndol Mitchell
Orchestral Transcription for Symphonic Band
by Earl (Buddy) Mattei
Performed by the Plano Community Band, 2022
Joe Frank, Conductor
Click HERE to listen to the original 1956 orchestral recording by the Eastman Rochester Symphony conducted by Howard Hanson.
For decades this Lyndol Mitchell work has been a hidden jewel of mid-20th century orchestral composition with overtones of Aaron Copland and hints of Bela Bartok. This delightful work, based on simple mountain folk songs, is both musically complex and melodically satisfying. Mattei's masterful transcription for symphonic band is aimed at bringing this gem down from the attic to put on full display for your appreciative audience. Originally written as three separate works, each movement can stand alone and have been sucessfully performed as such. As a suite, Kentucky Mountain Portraits becomes the major anchor piece for your concert. Either way, this new addition to your library will be well worth the work for both the performers and the audience.
As with any piece, careful attention to expression style, and dynamic indications will help bring the music to life. Much can be gained by listening to the two reference recordings above. Short, accessible solos feature piccolo, flute, oboe, English horn (cued to clarinet), alto and tenor sax, trumpet, horn, and euphonium. The opening seven measures of the Ballad, originally scored for unison viola and cello, may be performed solo or by and combination of the instruments scored or cued in this transcription. Playing Cindy and Shivaree at indicated tempos requires solid double tonguing technique for brass and flutes. These repeated note passages may also require some individual editing, especially among the reed players, to achieve a clean articulate effect.