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Zodiac Dances was commissioned by the Izumiotsu City Band, Osaka, Japan to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Sparke had previously written the piece, Prelude to a Celebration for the band, and in composing a new piece for their 50th anniversary wanted to personalise it to reflect the band’s history. He chose to write a set of six dance-miniatures based on the decades following the band’s foundation and the equivalent signs from the Japanese ‘Junishi’. During the piece, all aspects of true musicianship come to the surface. Energetic playing, phrasing, melodic music making, technique and a spectacular finale make this work a perfect test or concertwork!

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