This gorgeous air comes from the Rice-Walsh manuscript, a collection of music from the repertoire of Jeremiah Breen, a blind fiddler from North Kerry, Ireland, notated by his student.
Today we propose the twenty-third study from Twenty-Four Etudes for Flute, Op. 21, by Danish flutist Joachim Andersen. It was first published in 1886.
This sicilienne is the ninth movement of the last of six Concerts à deux Flutes Traversières sans Basse by the French Baroque composer Michel Pignolet de Montéclair. Here the French word concert is a synonym of “suite”, and has nothing to do with the Italian concerto.
This Andante is the opening movement of the sixth sonata from Six Sonates pour la Flûte traversière avec la Basse, Op. 44 by the prolific French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier. These sonatas were originally published in Paris in 1733.
Often considered the unofficial anthem of Yorkshire, this folk song is of course sung in the Yorkshire dialect. Its title, “On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at”, means “On Ilkley Moor without a hat”.
The song tells of a lover courting the object of his affections, Mary Jane, on Ilkley Moor without a hat (“baht 'at”). The singer chides the lover for his lack of headwear – for in the cold winds of Ilkley Moor this will mean his death from exposure. This will in turn result in his burial, the eating of his corpse by worms, the eating of the worms by ducks and finally the eating of the ducks by the singers.
The song is sung to the Methodist hymn tune “Cranbrook”, composed by Canterbury-based shoemaker Thomas Clark in 1805, which was later used as a tune for “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”. However, “On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at” became so popular that the origin of the music as a hymn tune has been almost forgotten in the United Kingdom. It is still used for “While Shepherds Watched” in some churches, but no longer widely recognized as a hymn or carol tune, except perhaps in the United States, where it is customarily used with the lyrics of Philip Doddridge's “Grace! 'Tis a Charming Sound”.
Thanks to Heather for suggesting this tune!
This is the nineteenth piece from 30 Etüden in allen Tonarten für Flöte (“30 Studies in All Keys for Flute”), Op. 6, by German flutist Emil Prill. It was first published in Leipzig in 1894.
The music to this 18th-century song was composed by Thomas Carter (1735–1804), who published it in his first collection of Vauxhall songs in 1773. Carter was born in Dublin, but settled in London around the year 1772, where he found employ as a composer of songs for public gardens, later graduating to composing for the stage. Words to the ballad were by Shropshire-born cleric Thomas Percy, author of Reliques of English Poetry (1765). His wife Nanny (Nancy) was appointed nurse to the infant Prince Edward in London in 1771. Her duties fulfilled, she returned home to her disconsolate husband, who greeted her with his verses. The Gentleman's Magazine of 1780 regarded it as “the most beautiful song in the English language”.
The music was in the Scottish style, and proved popular both in England and Scotland, although poet Robert Burns objected the foisting of Scottish dialect into Percy's version (called “O Nanny, Wilt Thou go with Me?”).
O Nannie, wilt thou gang wi' me,
Nor sigh to leave the flaunting town?
Can silent glens have charms for thee,
The lowly cot, the russet gown?
No longer dress'd in silken sheen,
No longer deck'd wi' jewels rare,
Say can'st thou quit each courtly scene,
Where thou wert fairest of the fair?
The present arrangement for two flutes is taken from Blake's Young Flutist's Magazine, published in Philadelphia in 1833.