Robert Ramskill - Fit for a King - Theme

Fit for a King - Theme


Wind Quintet [Fl. Ob, Cl, Fg, FH]

Recording, download - 1.09MB

Robert Ramskill - Fit for a King - Theme

Other Information

This variation on the famous Welsh melody Sosban Fach was written in celebration of the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge, 22nd July 2013, and is respectfully dedicated to HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and HRH Prince George of Cambridge.

When the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy was announced, the Chairman of the Central Composers’ Alliance, David Fisher, resolved to bridge the royal generations by inviting his colleagues in the Alliance contribute to a joint work on a famous Welsh theme to acknowledge the lineage of the Princes of Wales from Dafydd ap Llywelyn to HRH Prince Charles. As this heredity will continue to HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and then HRH Prince George of Cambridge, this work is therefore respectfully dedicated to all three generations.

The melody of Sosban Fach was chosen by David Fisher as one of the most famous of all Welsh tunes. It hasn’t been chosen for its subject matter, though it is originally a nursery song, but for the popularity in the Principality as one of the most often sung songs in the Welsh language. It is best known for its association with Llanelli Rugby Union Club and by internationally renowned performers such as Only Boys Aloud. Robert Ramskill arranged the theme before the composers’ contributions were collected over several months. Dr Ramskill was also entrusted to the difficult task of editing and ordering the pieces for publication.

The whole story of the Fit for a King and the accompanying videos may be accessed by clicking HERE. This is the arrangement of the ´Sosban Fach´ theme which is described by the composer thus:

Theme - Robert Ramskill:

The first step towards producing the Central Composers’ Alliance ‘Sosban Fach Variations’ was to arrange the basic theme simply in a wind-instrument-friendly key and also in such a way that the some of the timbral potential of the wind quintet might be hinted at (in terms of how the instruments could be used in combination whilst still allowing the different characteristics of each individual instrument to be clearly heard). I was confident that, having been supplied with this basis, my fellow alliance members would then explore this potential in much greater depth. In this I was certainly not disappointed as 14 variations materialised which used the ensemble in all manner of inventive and highly imaginative ways, not to mention in a wide variety of musical styles. It then remained to devise a running order for these variations which would have some kind of make sense of these contrasts of mood, tempo and musical language. I tried a number of different possibilities but feel happy that the ordering which finally resulted produces a coherent, enjoyable and very satisfying musical journey.

 The photographs below are:

[LeftSerenata Winds in the process of recording Fit for a King on July 22nd 2013 at the Ellen Terry Building of the University of Coventry on the very day that HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born.

[RightSerenata Winds performing the world première of Fit for a King at the splendid venue of The Ark, St Laurence Church, Alvechurch, Worcestershire on the evening of 5th April 2014.

Robert Ramskill - Fit for a King - Theme

Robert Ramskill - Fit for a King - Theme