Folk — and a bit of Beatles — By Arrangement

The theme today is orches­tral (main­ly) arrange­ments of British folk tunes. How­ev­er we have tak­en the lib­er­ty of stretch­ing the def­i­n­i­tion of “Folk” a lit­tle on this occa­sion to include the work of Messrs Lennon & McCart­ney — main­ly as an excuse, it must be said, to include the mar­vel­lous Bea­t­les Con­cer­to, com­posed by John Rut­ter and per­formed by Ros­tal and Schae­fer on piano with the Roy­al Liv­er­pool Phil­har­mon­ic Orches­tra under the baton of Ron Good­win. We’ve also includ­ed some rather amus­ing baroque arrange­ments of Bea­t­les tunes, by Peter Brein­er and Joshua Rifkin.

Apart from these, you’ll hear some old favourites like Vaugh­an Williams’ Eng­lish Folk Song Suite, pieces by Holst and the Fan­ta­sia on Eng­lish Sea Songs, but also less well-known pieces like Philip Lane’s suite of Cotswold Dances and the delight­ful arrange­ments of Play­ford tunes by Ernest Tom­lin­son. There are two arrange­ments of Oranges And Lemons used to open the BBC Light Pro­gramme in the 1940s.

And talk­ing of the BBC, there are some mag­nif­i­cent med­leys of folk tunes too, such as Max Saun­ders’ Fan­ta­sy on Nation­al Airs, which opened the BBC Tele­vi­sion Ser­vice in the 1950s and com­bines tunes from all the nations of the UK; the Radio 4 UK Theme and many more — and some region­al med­leys from the ITV sta­tions too, such as Wilkin­son’s Three Rivers Fan­ta­sy based on tunes from the Tyne-Tees region.

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