I. Intrada; II. Pastoral; III. Dance Variations
The “Three Shire Songs for Orchestra” is essentially a sequence of three short fantasias based on legendary folk songs from Derbyshire. The composer uses the folk song melodies as a starting point to create a new musical environment for these traditional tunes!
The opening Intrada is a highly energetic romp based on “The Bonelace Weaver’s Song”. After a spirited introduction, the weaver’s song melody is passionately passed around the orchestra with fleeting conversations and rhythmic variations including 7/8 time and others!
The central Pastoral in contrast, is a meditation on the village carol “Down in Yon Forest” starting with a quiet contemplation, slowly building up to a ringing climax, after which the opening material is recalled and gradually dissolves into tranquility.
The concluding Dance Variations takes the tune “Six Jolly Miners” through several permutations, including a luxuriant waltz and a Celtic jig. It eventually climaxes in a brief reference to Handel before the music tears off to its humorous conclusion.
© Paul Patterson 2014
This programme note can be reproduced in programme books with a credit to the composer