• Kenneth Leighton
  • Dance Overture (1971)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • 32224331timp.3perchp.pf.celstr
  • 9 min

Programme Note

Kenneth Leighton: Dance Overture (1971)

The Overture was composed during the Spring of 1971 to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the Scottish National Orchestra, and as requested, the music is festive in character, recalling perhaps the mood of previous works written specifically for youth players.

A slow introduction presents a chorale-like theme heard first on 'cellos, and gradually expanded into a long cantilena which spreads itself upwards through the strings. This is immediately followed by an Allegro Vivissimo which presents the first of a number of dancing themes. A second lyrical theme is played first on the horns (a variation in fact of the opening chorale) and this too is expanded into quite a long and exultant paragraph.

The rest of the piece develops in the manner of a Scherzo with a more intense and closely-knit middle section, and a final change of gear to three-time. This final dance finds its culmination in a return of the opening chorale theme, now very majorish, and this dominates right through to the end.

© Kenneth Leighton