Malcolm Arnold - "Peterloo" Overture; Narration?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by GJG, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Going from memory here, so there's a distinct possibility I'm way off track, however I have a recollection of several concert reviews/reports on 4BR and the like concerning performances of the brass band arrangement of "Peterloo" Overture, with some kind of narration being mentioned. A Google search doesn't come up with any results concerning any "official" narration to go with the piece, so the question is: am I misremembering, or is there indeed a narration associated with the piece, and if so, can anyone suggest how I might go about finding out where the text comes from?


  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I don't recall hearing narration, and nothing comes up when searching th Reviews section on 4br.

    Are you sure you're not getting confused with the dreadful lyrics they added to it for the Last Night of the Proms?
  3. Peter is correct - there was no narration with either the original orchestral version or the subsequent brass band version. The 'choral' version with text by Tim Rice was premiered at The Last Night of the Proms in 2014. It has received very mixed reviews.... mostly at the negative end!
  4. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    The orchestral score has a preface describing the dreadful events of that day (16 August 1819), which I have always read out during the rehearsal process - and if it's not reproduced in the concert programme, would read to the audience before performing the piece.

    I haven't seen the score of the brass band arrangement, so don't know whether this preface is printed there as well. If not, it's a great shame, and a fault on the part of the publishers (Faber, I would imagine).
  5. Jack, the preface is in the brass band version. I know, because I put it there.
  6. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Heh, then please don't take offence when I call you a know-it-all ;)

    I'm glad to hear that - it makes all the difference to rehearsals and performance when players (and audiences) have a proper insight into the piece, and what it's about. I noticed it's on the library list of a band I've just started conducting, and fully intend to programme the overture in the near future. Good to know it's there, ready to go - thanks Phillip :)
  7. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Thanks all; seems that I may have remembered hearing the preface read out somewhere and confused that with a narration in my memory.

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