Posted by: rbbadger | November 20, 2009

Grainger’s “Colonial Song” (Sentimental No. 1)

The late Australian-American composer and pianist Percy Grainger is largely remembered for his marvelous settings of folk songs.  His folk song settings are just about some of the best ever done.  He also composed original music of his own, some of it wildly experimental and others of it very easy to appreciate.  He rendered a large number of his work into settings for wind ensemble.  So he holds an honoured name among the composers of music for the concert band.

The Colonial Song is Grainger’s celebration of his native Australia.  While he ended up living in America for the greater part of his life, he maintained a deep affection for his native land which he tried to express through this beautiful piece of music.  This is the symphonic setting of it.  Grainger, for some reason, made multiple versions of many of his works.  For many works, there are symphony orchestra settings, wind ensemble settings, chamber music settings, voice and piano settings, voice and orchestra settings, and so forth.  This piece exists in several versions ranging from piano solo, to wind band, to symphony orchestra.

 

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