BROOKS-DAVIES, Douglas: A Shropshire Pastoral for oboe d’amore and string orchestra
This is a revision with slight modifications of my Shropshire Pastorale for oboe and strings. It has its origins in a setting I wrote many years ago of Housman’s Shropshire Lad, poem 36, and it has finally struck me that the particular pastoral nature of the piece was really conceived all along with the voice of that beautiful, and sadly rare, instrument, the oboe d’amore in mind. It’s a gentle meditation, shot through with a Housman-like bitter-sweetness, very distantly redolent of Butterworth’s On the Banks of Green Willow, and very ’English’ in the traditional sense of the word. This, as I am now at the beginnings of old age, is the final and definitive version of a melody that came from nowhere as I gazed at Housman’s lyric, and has haunted me for over half a century.
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