RYE FESTIVAL SUITE
Goodmusic Concert Originals Series GMCO093
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)
This suite was composed for, and first performed in 2011 at the 40th Rye Arts Festival in East Sussex. Once surrounded by sea, this fortified hilltop town played an important role in the defence of the south coast of England. These days, the river no longer harbours warships and instead is home to the local fishing fleet. From spats with the French, to marauders and smugglers, this ancient town is steeped in history.
There are four movements each depicting particular aspects of the area, separated by short harp interludes. This suite may be performed by strings alone without harp, in which case the interludes are omitted.
1. FESTIVAL FLOURISH, COBBLED STREETS AND MORRIS MEN. With a flourish, the Town Crier announces the start of the Festival. Cobbled streets which now throng with tourists once echoed to the cries of traders plying their wares and the clatter of horse-drawn carriages. The occasional presence of Morris Dancers unites past and present.
2. ROMNEY MARSH. A mystical landscape of deserted villages and abandoned churches; mediaeval plainsong echoes through the centuries; some churches are still used; a Church of England hymn is heard in the distance.
3. SMUGGLERS AND SEAFARERS. Dastardly deeds in the back parlour while sailors and shantymen have a nautical knees-up in the front bar!
4. MILITARY CANAL. The militia dig a canal to defend Rye from Napoleonic invasion; a French marauding party is sighted and chased away.
Duration 23 minutes
A PACK comprises one full score, a harp part and strings 4/4/3/4/2
Click the play button below to hear a performance which has been computer-generated from the score.