Clarence Barber- A Lincolnshire Whimsy

Variations after Grainger on "Lord Melbourne"

The music of Percy Aldridge Grainger has always been especially appealing to me, Grainger's unexpected twists of harmony and rhythmic inventiveness continually delight and surprise, even after repeated hearings. A work of particular interest is Lincolnshire Posy, a collection of folksongs scored for military band. Lord Melbourne, a variant of the Duke of Marlboro folksong, is the fifth musical "wildflower" in the set. Grainger's version was noted down from the singing of George Wray. The scoring for military band was completed in February, 1937. This set of variations was written for the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory Saxophone Ensemble, Paul Cohen, conductor, at the suggestion of David Schwartz. The work was completed May 24, 1991 and premiered in November of that year.

Grainger's instructions to band leaders on the conducting of the passages marked "Free Time" reveal that note-lengths should vary "with that rhythmic elasticity so characteristic of many English folksingers." Each note with an arrow above it should be conducted with a downbeat.

Clarence E. Barber

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