The Full Monty

World Premiere Monty’s Symphony No 1

Surrey Hills Orchestra Inc.
40th Anniversary Concert – Sunday 19th May 2024

Notes from the programme

Symphony No. 1 – Montague “Monty” Maizels-WORLD PREMIERE

It is not very often that Surrey Hills Orchestra has the pleasure of performing a brand new Symphony, but along comes Centenarian, Monty Maizels and presents us with his Symphony No. 1 in G “AUSOM” (Apple Users Society of Melbourne). It is a tongue-in-cheek Symphony drawing on his experience as a Jingle writer, but written in the traditional classical style of 4 movements.

I. Adagio/Allegro
II. Largo – Intermezzo
III. Menuetto and Trio
IV. Allegro – Trovare Facilimente

In the words of Monty:
After the first movement’s slow introduction fragments of the melody are: “The name of the game is AUSOM” and “Software, Hardware; no approach is barred where cluey people get involved.” You won’t be allowed to miss them because I repeat the entire portion (which they call the Exposition) before playing around with them and three or four other little musical figures. In music, this “playing around” is called the Development Section.

It’s something like taking a couple of frisky dogs out for a walk on the leash when you leave home, and when you get to the Park they are allowed to run free.

Everybody has fun, especially if you have the bit where all the dogs in the park get into the act and start chasing each other’s tails. This is known as a Fugue. Fugues follow a very rigorous set of rules. And until I actually did it, the mere prospect scared the you-know-what out of me. Just so you know what to listen for, the fugue theme is first stated by Bassoons, followed in order by French Horns, Flutes, Trumpets and Clarinets. But it’s not long before the original song tune fragments start to get a bit impatient and keep trying to make themselves heard above the general argument. The kettledrums tell them all to be quiet and the strings, which have been chaffing about their enforced silence, worry the first two bars of the fugue until like dogs with a bone, just before the romp in the park comes to a speedy end.

This brings us to the Recapitulation and the return of the AUSOM tune and for the first time the song is played all the way through. After that, there is a little surprise – the first clarinet is under the delusion that this is really a concerto for him and takes off in a cadenza, a set of virtuoso variations on the theme, in which he is eventually joined by his impatient side-lined mate and they both have a bit of fun until again the kettledrums tell them to “give over”. The rest of the orchestra agree heartily, blasting out “The name of the game is AUSOM” at the top of their voices and very deliberately. After that, what more is there to say? The movement is brought to a swift conclusion.

For the second movement, traditionally a slow one, the difference is even more marked, because the material is from the two main tunes in the somewhat brisk Polkast. What absolutely knocked me out while working on this movement was how that bit of boisterous, boozy, Bavarien Biergarten brass became beautiful when slowed down and given to other instruments. Accordingly, I opted to make this movement into a mini concerto, the solo instrument being an oboe d’amore. (Today will be played on Clarinet in A).

There are two main themes, one for the Minuet and the other for the Trio section which sits in the middle, and both come from the music I wrote to go with Kal Embling’s delightful little film “Rails in the Garden”. There is nothing much to report about the development of the main two themes here, just to mention that the rhythm of a Minuet is three beats to the bar, and the original Rails in the Garden is in four beats, so it feels quite different. The jolly toyland atmosphere gets lost and rather than my Minuet being a stately dance, it possibly portrays some pomposity.

So lets skip to the finale, which is a Rondo. I thought of marking it Rondo Trovare Facilimente which is my bad Italian for “Find Easily”, because the tune, with my words, was for a 30 second TV commercial I wrote almost twenty years ago for “Easyfind” Calendars. Usual story in advertising, the client didn’t go ahead with the campaign. Thankfully there is very little to tell you about the transition of this commercial ditty into symphonic form. The rhythm is the same and the tempo only a little slower. Rondo indicates that the opening theme keeps returning, which of course means that it has to go away and other tunes get heard.

I’d like to call your attention to a counter-melody in the woodwinds heard just 16 bars after the opening, because that is used far more for development than its “Easyfind” other half. And the apparently new tune which occurs at about 3¼ minutes. It’s a con, because the second time it’s played, “Easyfind” joins in and the two fit together so cozily that it’s obviously a put-up job. The whole mob then chatter among themselves for a bit until the “Easyfind” jingle appears in its entirety. After that they all get so excited that you know it can’t last long. And it doesn’t. All the bowing, blowing and banging proceeds at the headlong pace the entire work concludes in a triumph of triviality.

Monty’s Christmas Music

Monty has provided music for use by members of AUSOM who are interested in using it to enhance photos, images, slideshows or videos.

In each case, the full name supplied by Monty has been provided to describe the music (in bold) followed by the actual files available for download in .WAV format (first) and .m4a format (second).

Santa on Saxes Mar 2 (0′56″)

“Santa Clause is coming …”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

Wee-wee Shoo! (0′14″)

“We wish you a Merry Christmas”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

Jingle Bells in C (0′41″)

“Jingle Bells…”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

Jingle Bells in F (0′40″)

“Jingle Bells…”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

Joy To The World (0′21″)

“Joy to the World”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

O Tannenbaum (0′26″)

“O Tannenbaum”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

Twelve Days of Christmas (0′32″)

“Twelve Days of Christmas”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

Deck the Halls in F & G (0′51″)

“Deck the Halls…”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

Suburbs Sports March (0′17″)

“A March…”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

Wee-wee Shoo w_New Year tag (0′24″)

“We wish you a Merry Christmas etc.”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format

FairyMixdown

“The Fairy on the Christmas tree”

Download .WAV format

Download .m4a format