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Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Arundel Cathedral
City of London Sinfonia / Graeme Jenkins
Composer's Notes

This Overture on a Nursery Rhyme is a medley of music for an operatic comedy, a kind of latterday Così fan tutte loosely inspired by the life and work of Cynthia Payne. It is a rondo, bound together by increasingly vigorous appearances of the nursery-rhyme itself (Boys and Girls Come out to Play). Contrasting episodes come and go – slower, weary music, perhaps expressive of disillusion and depression; and two other nursery-rhyme-like tunes, one gentle one bouncy, both appear twice. There is a background of bustle and energy; and a waltz shyly peeps out now and again, revealing a bit more of itself each time until it is given almost complete, before the final build-up of Boys and Girls blows it away in a rush of exuberance.

Robin Holloway

Reproduction Rights
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer

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