Variations on an old Slave Song for baritone soloist, chorus, and orchestra (ed.Thomas Beecham)Music Text
reduced orchestration by E J Dent: 2(=picc).2(II=corA).2.2-4.2(3).3.1-timp.perc:xyl/tgl/tamb-harp-stringsAbbreviations
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.Repertoire Note
A musical summation of the composer’s experiences in Florida, Appalachia
(the old native American name for North America), is a masterly set of variations on an old negro song that comprehensively captures the natural tropical splendour of the deep south swamplands, while at the same time introducing an element of human melancholy and tragedy associated with the plight of the slave population. Also drawing on Dixie
and Yankie Doodle
, some variations are brief atmospheric tone-paintings while others are more extended scenic evocations suggesting local society waltzes, the grandeur of the Mississipi river, or the plaintive twilight song of slaves on the plantation.
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