Sherwood Legend – Elizabeth Raum
When was the piece composed?
It was composed in 1996 on a commission from the Calgary Philharmonic and Kurt Kellan their principal horn player.
When did it have its premiere?
It was premiered by the Calgary Philharmonic conducted by Victor Sawa with Kellen as soloist on January 16, 1997. It was recorded by the Calgary Phil and Kellen shortly hereafter.
What is the instrumentation that the composer uses?
2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 2 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, 1 Tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings
How long does it last?
Approximately 25 minutes
The title “Sherwood Legend” suggests Robin Hood; what does he have to do with the work?
The piece was composed for Kurt Kellan who had a passion for the music of the great Hollywood composer Erich Korngold. One of Korngold’s greatest scores was the 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood with swashbuckling Errol Flynn. To Raum this suggested the possibility of “a movie score without the movie” with the horn as the Flynn-like hero.
What is the structure of Sherwood Legend?
Raum takes us rampaging through three adventures with the daring-do outlaw. We first encounter the “Swashbuckling Hero”; we next see our hero in a more tender mood as the “The Pensive Romantic” wooing Olivia DeHaviland’s feisty Maid Marian. The piece ends with a wink to “The Unabashed Scoundrel” and you can almost see Flynn’s devil-make-care grin as he rides off to right another wrong and lay-low the Sheriff and Sir Guy of Gisbourne. The late Romantic movie score idiom pays tribute to Korngold and provides an exhilarating virtuoso challenge for the horn player.
Is there anywhere that I can hear the piece?
The recording by Kurt Kellan and the Calgary Philharmonic can be found on YouTube and a left click on the titles below will take you there.
I: Swashbuckling Hero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2crnmRtOLk
II: The Pensive Romantic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvTs7VVMojc
III: The Unabashed Scoundrel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A66-DhSxKPc
A reduced version for euphonium and piano is also available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDiBq7eyPEw
- Elizabeth Raum was born in Berlin, New Hampshire and studied oboe at the Eastman School of Music before moving to Canada.
- She was the principal oboist with the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra for seven years before moving to Regina. From 1986 until her retirement in 2010 she was the principal oboist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra.
- A prolific composer she has created operas, chamber works, choral pieces, vocal works, ballets and film scores.
- She produced Canada’s first classical video with originally written music entitled, Evolution: A Theme With Variations, which was premiered at a gala event at the CBC in 1986.
- As well as today’s piece for horn player Kurt Kalen Raum has written works for some of the world’s finest artists including Canadian soprano, Tracy Dahl; Swedish trombone virtuoso, Christian Lindberg; Canadian tubist, John Griffiths; New York Philharmonic principal hornist, Phil Meyers; former principal trombonist of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ken Shifrin; and her daughter, Canadian violinist, Erika Raum.
A complete biography and more about her compositions, achievements and performances can be found on her website at: https://elizabethraum.com/.