Tone Poem Tuesday

I heard this work a few weeks ago while driving home, and made sure to make note of it. Ernest Farrar was a British composer born in 1885, but his life and career were ended in September 1918, when he was killed in action in World War I, less than two months before the war ended. So many young people of promise, snuffed out in those trenches and on those fields.

This work, an orchestral rhapsody titled The Open Road, seems to be a musical portrayal of a walk through Scotland (or so I assume, from the bagpipe-like sound of the work’s open bars and a motif that recurs). It’s vigorous music in the Romantic mode, unsurprising and melodic and competent. In short, it’s a pleasurable work, maybe not a masterpiece but not everything needs to be.

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