Comrades, Haste! To the Bells!

Posted By Derek Nance on Apr 22, 2013 | 2 comments

Steel works in Cherepovets
Some music tells a story.  Some pieces are meant to stir up emotions.  Today’s featured bell piece is designed to paint a scene in music.  “Comrades, Haste!  Faster the Steel Press” is a brilliant piece by Matthew Prins written to invoke images of 1960’s Russian steel works factories.  In 1955, Cherepovets, Russia, produced it’s first steel, and quickly it became one of the largest producers of steel in the area.  Captured by Prins, you can picture the workers marching in droves to the factories, creating molten metal, and shaping steel.  He artfully combines driving rhythmic sections with both tuned and un-tuned percussion.  The piece won the 2005 Bells of the Sound Composition Contest, and was premiered by the group.  Here is a really well done recording by Bells of the Sound.

The piece was recorded by Bells of the Sound on their “Signatures” album, and you can buy a copy on their website.  (Actually, the entire “Signatures” album sounds brilliant.  I will have to do a review of just that album some time).  Sheet music for the piece can be purchased through Above the Line Publishing.  My only question about the recording is the tuned percussion sound.  Does anyone know what type of bells were used?

Also, for those who were wondering, the marching sound is created using a marching machine.  Here is a video of one being used:

What’s your favorite piece that paints a picture for the listener?