"Willy’s rare and Willy’s fair..."

For: String orchestra
page one of "Willy’s rare and Willy’s fair..."

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"Willy’s rare and Willy’s fair..."


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
25 minutes
Classical music
License details
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This piece is based on a tune, sometimes known as "MacPherson’s Farewell", which first appeared in print in Thomson’s "Orpheus Caledonius" of 1733. In the traditional Scots ballad a girl searches desperately for her betrothed, but, tragically, she finds him drowned "in Yarrow", perhaps even murdered by his own kinsmen. It’s almost as if fragments of the melody are swirling madly around in her head, feverishly and randomly, in her agitated and grief stricken state. Though not programme music the piece is meant to give a sense of gloom and despair, and the terrible sadness of the poor, distraught girl's frantic search leading to the ultimate tragic discovery of his dead body in a pool. (Provisional score only - much needs to be done to make this a satisfactory score, too unbalanced, far too much doubling, no dynamics, etc… unprofessional….may do it one day,.. or maybe not.)

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