Wednesday, November 29, 2017

English suites no. 13

This is from the exact opposite end of Benjamin Britten's career from the Simple Symphony, completed a couple years before his death. And it's a much harder meal to chew, but I've found it intriguing, particularly after repeated listenings.

It's called Suite on English Folk Tunes, "A time there was ..." But it's not a simple presentation of tunes the way Vaughan Williams or Holst would have done it. Both those composers were capable of being modernists; Britten applies that to his folk sources, which come out crabbed and gnarly.

Contents: Cakes and Ale (0.00), The Bitter Withy (2.28), Hankin Booby (5.00), Hunt the Squirrel (7.06), Lord Melbourne (8.29).

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