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Grainger Molly On The Shore Analysis Essay

Concert Band Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Contra Bassoon, Clarinet (in Eb), Clarinet solo, Clarinet I, Clarinet II, Clarinet III, Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Cornet solo, Cornet I, Cornet II, Cornet III, Horn I, Horn II, Horn III, Horn IV, Tenor I, Tenor II, Tenor III, Euphonium, Tuba, Contrabass, Glockenspiel, Steel marimba, Timpani, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal
Large Score. Composed by Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882-1961). Edited by Larry Clark / Daniel Schmidt. This edition: The Percy Grainger Critical Edition. Carl Fischer Classic Band Editions. Large Full Score. With Standard notation. 32 pages. Carl Fischer #J000745L. Published by Carl Fischer (CF.J745L).

ISBN 825848148. Text: James Croft.

No. 23 of Grainger's British Folk Music settings, Molly on the Shore is a rollicking treatment of a popular Irish Reel. It scampers and bounces its way through a succession of sonorous climaxes, accumulating an amazing collection of memorable counter themes as it goes along, before subsiding in a delicately scored coda that ends with a characteristic Grainger bang. An acclaimed classic, we are proud to offer this engraved and corrected edition of Molly on the Shore with a complete full score. Duration: 4' Key: Ab Ranges: Solo Cornet - C; Cornet - G; Horn - Ab; Trombone - Ab.

Molly on the Shore is a composition of Percy Aldridge Grainger. It is an arrangement of two contrasting Irish reels, "Temple Hill" and "Molly on the Shore" that present the melodies in a variety of textures and orchestrations, giving each section of the band long stretches of thematic and countermelodic material.[1]

"Molly on the Shore" was written in 1907 by Grainger as a birthday gift for his mother.

Originally composed for string quartet or string orchestra, this piece was arranged in 1920 for wind band by the composer, as well as for orchestra.[1]Fritz Kreisler set it for violin and piano, but Grainger was thoroughly unimpressed, saying that

[It] was a thousand times worse than I had fore-weened ((expected)), & I had not fore-weened anything good.

In a letter to Frederick Fennell (who would later go on to create the definitive full score edition of Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy), Grainger says that

"in setting Molly on the Shore, I strove to imbue the accompanying parts that made up the harmonic texture with a melodic character not too unlike that of the underlying reel tune. Melody seems to me to provide music with initiative, wheras {sic} rhythm appears to me to exert an enslaving influence. For that reason I have tried to avoid regular rhythmic domination in my music - always excepting irregular rhythms, such as those of Gregorian Chant, which seem to me to make for freedom. Equally with melody, I prize discordant harmony, because of the emotional and compassionate sway it exerts".[1]

"Molly on the Shore" mostly features the woodwind section of the band, especially the clarinets and saxophones. The opening 1st clarinet solo is a common audition excerpt in the key of B flat major for clarinet, or concert F major for C Flute or Bassoon.


  1. ^ abcCD liner notes, Composer's Collection - Percy Aldridge Grainger. North Texas Wind Symphony.

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