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Roots: Folklore and Literary Heritage

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Benjamin Rous, conductor


Arnold: Tam o'Shanter Overture, op.51
Britten: Suite on English Folk Tunes

Beethoven/arr. Rous: Irish Songs


Composers often look to literary traditions to spark their musical imaginations, and the British Isles offer a treasure trove of folklore and folksongs! Malcolm Arnold’s Tam o’Shanter Overture is an excellent example of program music, which depicts a character, scene, or story. As in his last orchestral work, the Suite on English Folk Tunes, Benjamin Britten drew heavily from folksongs throughout his career and appreciated “the sweetness of the melodies.” Beethoven was also a prolific composer of folksong settings and, in fact, he wrote more in this genre than any other. Through a concert rich with the heritage of the British Isles, we will explore the enduring link between words and music.

Roots: Folklore and Literary Heritage