• 2(pic)222/4230/timp.perc/str
  • 8 min

Programme Note

Geoffrey Bush: Overture Yorick

Geoffrey Bush wrote this unassuming little piece as an affectionate tribute to the actor and comedian Tommy Handley, whose infectious and cheerful nature has been so badly missed since his death.

Bush has matched his mood perfectly, and the modest work presents a profusion of themes in lively procession. There is no pretension to symphonic growth, but simply to divert and entertain as Handley did. It is not without its harmonic and rhythmic surprises however, and also contains a most wistful melodic idea on woodwind – the broken heart behind the clown’s mask perhaps? – which is developed with great skill to a powerful climax before the sun comes through again and all ends in unclouded bonhomous good humour.

© 1981 Giles Easterbrook