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Music Monday: Fantasia on Auld Lang Syne

Date: 12/29/2014

As the world prepares to say goodbye to 2014 this week, we’d like to ring in 2015 with a “light music” interpretation of a traditional New Year’s song. The genre of “light” orchestral music originated in late 19th/early 20th century Britain, and its pieces are designed to appeal to a broad audience.

They are typically shorter than “serious” orchestral works, often taking the form of a suite, and are through-composed. This type of music was most popular in the mid-20th century due to the radio’s rise in popularity, as well as the desire for hope and joy following the end of WWII.

One of the genre’s most well-known composers is Ernest Tomlinson, MBE. Among his catalogue of works is a piece called Fantasia on Auld Lang Syne. In this twenty minute piece, Tomlinson takes the original tune and weaves it together with 152 quotations from other classical works such as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture. Take a listen to the recording below by The Royal Ballet Sinfonia and see how many quotations you can find!

Happy New Year!

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