Molly on the Shore
by Percy Grainger

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Grade 5

Percy Grainger (1882 -1961) was a picturesque nationalist who tried to retain something of the original flavor of British folk songs and their singers by strict observance of peculiarities of performance, such as varying beat lengths and the use of “primitive” techniques such as parallelism. Born the son of an architect in Brighton, Victoria, Australia, Percy Grainger was a precocious pianist, and the proceeds of a series of concerts, given at the age of twelve, enabled him to go and study at Frankfurt for six years, after which he began his European career as a concert pianist, settling in London in 1901. He came to the U. S. in 1915 and enlisted as an army bandsman at the outbreak of World War I. He became a United States citizen in 1919. It was during his stay in England that he became passionately involved in collecting and arranging folk songs and country dances.

Year of publication: 1911

Publisher: Carl Fischer

Grade: 5

Type of composition: Irish Reel

Style: Fast

Programming Suggestions: Based on two Cork Reel tunes, “Temple Hill” and “Molly on the Shore,” respectively Nos. 901 and 902 of “The Complete Petrie Collection of Ancient Irish Music” edited by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.

Solo instruments: none

Anecdotal notes: Soprano sax, vibraphone, Eb Clarinet, and alto clarinet have major parts in the piece. Condensed score will make rehearsing difficult. Fast tempi may be difficult for woodwind players to articulate fast passages at various dynamic levels. Eb Horn parts and Db piccolo parts will have to be transposed to be played.

Discography: ENGLAND TOUR HIGHLIGHTS 1998. COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY~ EASTERN WIND SYMPHONY – WILLIAM A. SILVESTER, COND


Recording of "Molly on the Shore"