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Paolozzi’s Windows

Composed by Terry Johns

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Paolozzi’s Windows

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Paolozzi’s Windows

“The records of the heroism of the peoples of the world are preserved mostly throughout the annals of civil and military history but there are many musicians and artists whose wartime trials have received no official recognition.

Eduardo Paolozzi was one such, who was interned at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh in 1940 when Italy declared war on Britain. While he was a prisoner, his father, his grandfather and his uncle lost their lives when the Arandora Star on its voyage to Canada was sunk by a German U boat in the Atlantic.

The Paolozzi’s were a family of ice cream makers who owned a fish and chip shop in Leith near Edinburgh, who were members of a close community, much like the Italians in Wales, and I can remember my father telling me that the Italian-Welsh were totally accepted by the people in the valleys, and were left in peace, by and large, by the Welsh police at the declaration of war, who simply ignored orders that were issued to arrest people, who had in many cases become family friends or even relatives by marriage.

Despite his humble origins and the effects of this enormous family tragedy, Paolozzi was greatly and appropriately honoured during his lifetime, having been Her Majesty’s Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland from 1986 until his death in 2005. Paolozzi’s work now decorates the walls of Tottenham Court road underground station, the forecourt of Euston Station in London, and the piazza at the British library. Here in Edinburgh, the Millennium Window in St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral at Palmerston Place is a truly glittering example of his genius, and his only work in stained glass. It illuminates the south transept from the south wall.

Having taken part in several concerts in the light of these magnificent windows, it occurred to me on one such occasion, that it would be good and appropriate to have a specially written piece of music that could be played there in that special place. I felt that the sound of brass would be suitably majestic for the subject, and for the acoustics of the building. I thought also, that a solo piano could bring some extra colour and fluidity to the music, and the first performance was given there by Alba Brass with the composer at the piano in 2010 as part of the Cathedral series of concerts for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival."


Terry Johns

The son of a Welsh miner, Terry Johns is a french horn player with a distinguished career as a member of the Royal Philharmonic and the London Symphony orchestras, the Barry Tuckwell horn quartet, the Alan Civil horn quartet, and the Jack Brymer wind soloists. He played with many jazz “greats”, including Tubby Hayes, Kenny Wheeler, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, and John Dankworth. He is also a composer of music for the studio, television. He has written music for the RPO and LSO brass and he composed the theme and incidental music for Harlech TV’s “The Pretenders”. For this he recruited players from the ranks of the RPO, and the LSO, for the studio orchestra led by Sidney Sax, and conducted the sessions himself. In 1984 the actor Robert Hardy while arranging the memorial service for Richard Burton at the church of St Martin in the fields, invited Terry to arrange the final hymn (Battle Hymn of the republic) for the Rhos Cwm Tawe male voice choir and to compose an obbligato solo trumpet part for Maurice Murphy. The music was completed in a sleeper compartment between Edinburgh and London just hours before the service, with the soloist proof-reading from the top bunk! Terry has recently published the first part of his autobiographical “Letters from Lines and Spaces”.  The second part was published in 2013.

8:00 Minutes

4 Trumpets
1 Horn in F
3 Trombones  
1 Euphonium
1 Tuba
1 Solo Piano