Become a Friend of the Trust
Contact us

Variations, Nocturne and Finale on an English Sea-Song for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 60 (1962)

This work was originally written for piano solo in 1956 (see Nocturne for Piano, Op. 46). Then Alan Bush revised it for piano and orchestra, in which form it was first performed at the 1965 Cheltenham Festival. The original version has now been withdrawn.

In its revised version, it has been described by the composer as "a virtuosos concert piece for the pianist, with supporting orchestral flashes of colour and points of contrast".

The theme is an 18th century whalemen's ballad called 'Blow, ye winds'; and it is followed by 13 variations, of which the last three are in the style of piano studies, with orchestral accompaniment. The next movement is a Nocturne, which "evokes the nostalgia of a long voyage", while the Finale suggests "the excitement, dangers and glory of a triumphant chase". In these two movements, as in the variations, the musical material is derived from the ballad theme.

Music Home
Index of Works

Major Works
Wat Tyler
Men of Blackmoor
The Sugar Reapers
Joe Hill - The Man Who Never Died
Orchestral Work
Symphony No. 1 in C
Symphony No. 2 'The Nottingham Symphony'
Symphony No. 3 'The Byron Symphony' with Baritone Solo and Mixed Chorus
Symphony No. 4 - Lascaux Symphony
Dorian Passacaglia and Fugue
Piano Concerto
Violin Concerto
Chamber Music
Dialectic for String Quartet
Concert Piece for Cello and Piano
Lyric Interlude for Violin Solo with Piano Accompaniment
Three Concert Studies for Piano, Violin and Cello
Piano Music
Twenty Four Preludes
Choral Music
'The Winter Journey' - A Christmas Cantata for Soprano and Baritone Solo, Mixed Chorus, String Quintet and Harp
Solo Song
'Voices of the Prophets' - Cantata for Tenor and Piano
'The Freight of Harvest' - Song Cycle for Tenor and Piano
'Life's Span' - Song Cycle for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano
'Woman's Life' - Song cycle for Soprano and Piano