Patterson has described Overture – Songs of the West, a rousing 10-minute concert overture, as something of a “musical mystery tour” through the folk songs of  Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset. He takes ten well-known songs and reveals fragments of them one by one, challenging the listener to spot them and making the task more difficult by weaving them together, within a tonal langauge, before one tune ultimately emerges triumphantly from the mass.

Overture-Songs of the West was commissioned by the Three Choirs’ Festival in honour of Dr. John Sanders OBE, Festival Conductor from 1968 to 1992. The first performance was given by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hickox, on August 23rd 1995 at the 1995 Gloucester Three Choirs Festival.

The folks songs used are:

The Helston Floral Dance (Cornwall), Widdicombe Fair (Devon), Linden Lea (Dorset), George Riddler’s Oven, Oxbode Lane, The Jovial Foresters, Bearland, Grey Friars (Gloucestershire), The Lark in the Morn and The Coasts of High Barbary (Somerset).

Details

Written 1995

Symphony Orchestra. 2.2.2.2/4.3.3.1/Timp/3Perc/Strings

Length 11′

Commission: Three Choirs Festival (Gloucester)
Dedication: ‘To John Sanders’
Publisher: Josef Weinberger

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