Lisbon from "Lincolnshire Posy" (adapt Sweeney)

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (adapt. Michael Sweeney)

Subtitle: Sailor's Song

General Info

Year: 1937 / 2017
Duration: c. 1:30
Difficulty: II-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Folk Song
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00; (digital) - $50.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Lincolnshire Posy was commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and premiered at their convention with the composer conducting. It is in six movements, all based on folk songs from Lincolnshire, England. Grainger's settings are not only true to the verse structure of the folk songs, but attempt to depict the singers from whom Grainger collected the songs. Since its premiere, it has been recognized as a cornerstone of the wind band repertoire.

Lincolnshire Posy, as a whole work, was conceived and scored by me direct for wind band early in 1937. Five, out of the six, movements of which it is made up existed in no other finished form, though most of these movements (as is the case with almost all my compositions and settings, for whatever medium) were indebted, more or less, to unfinished sketches for a variety of mediums covering many years (in this case, the sketches date from 1905 to 1937). These indebtednesses are stated in the score.

This bunch of "musical wildflowers" (hence the title) is based on folksongs collected in Lincolnshire, England (one notated by Miss Lucy E. Broadwood; the other five noted by me, mainly in the years 1905-1906, and with the help of the phonograph), and the work is dedicated to the old folksingers who sang so sweetly to me. Indeed, each number is intended to be a kind of musical portrait of the singer who sang its underlying melody -- a musical portrait of the singer's personality no less than of his habits of song -- his regular or irregular wonts of rhythm, his preference for gaunt or ornately arabesqued delivery, his contrasts of legato and staccato, his tendency towards breadth or delicacy of tone.

- Program Note by Percy Aldridge Grainger

Originally entitled "Dublin Bay", the first movement of Lincolnshire Posy is the shortest -- a brisk, simple, lilted melody in 6/8 time. The main theme of the movement is presented first in the muted trumpets and bassoon, and is set against a war-like motif in the horns. Like the fourth movement, this movement ends in a serene, suspended pianissimo that contrasts the general tone of the movement as a whole. It is in strophic form.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

"'Lisbon Bay' (Sailor's Song)" opens the Lincolnshire Posy suite. Grainger had it from Mr. Deene, at Brigg Union Workhouse. Mr. Deene had a weak heart, and became so emotional remembering the old song that the workhouse matron would not let him complete it. Grainger returned a year later with the phonograph, and, though Mr. Deene had been injured in a fall and claimed he was too weak to sing, started to play him some of his recordings of other singers. At that he proclaimed that he would sing, and did so with much pleasure. As Grainger puts it in his notes to Lincolnshire Posy, "I thought he might as well die singing it as die without singing it."

- Program Note from Golden Hind Music


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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