SUITE FOR STRINGS No. 3
1. Con Brio
2. Largo Cantabile
3. Allegro Grazioso
INSTRUMENTATION: String Orchestra
9 March 2014, Vale Royal Abbey, Northwich
Vale Royal String Orchestra
NOTES: The idea of opposition is explored in the first movement, using melodic and harmonic 2nds and 7ths, contradictory upper and lower strings, and contrasting first and second subjects. The English folk song 'One night as I lay on my bed'' (featured in the folk songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams) is used as the second subject, chosen for this suite as it highlights melodic 2nds and 7ths and has an unconventional phrase structure.
The second movement also explores melodic and harmonic 2nds and 7ths, but these are now yearning and sensual rather than oppositional. Watch out for a couple of 'Finzi' moments!
The third movement uses a traditional 'minuet and trio' form. A simple, graceful theme is used in the minuet. The trio section drops into Eb major and the texture is influenced by that key (traditionally used for the Welsh national anthem 'Hen Wlad fy Nhadau') and by Vaughan William's arrangement of the Welsh folk tune 'Rhosymedre'.
The concluding movement is an exuberant jig.