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Three Northumbrian Impressions for Northumbrian Small Pipes, Op. 42 (1953)

1. Prelude
2. Lament
3. Dance

In 1953, Alan Bush and his wife, Nancy, visited Newcastle-on-Tyne to do research for their second Opera, 'Men of Blackmoor'. While there were there, Alan Bush met the famous virtuoso of the Northumbrian Small Pipes, Jack Armstrong. Alan Bush immediate wrote the Three Northumbrian Impressions, but these pieces did not receive their first performance until 1979, when Richard Butler, a pupil of Jack Armstrong, played them in the Wigmore Hall.

These Northumbrian Impressions follow out the characteristic chanter scale and drones of the Northumbrian small pipes, a form of bagpipes used in Northumbria. The instrument is intended to be played indoors. The tone is penetrating but very sweet. It differs from the Scottish bagpipes in that the sound from the chanter is discontinuous, even while the drone is playing. This means that rests and staccato are possible in the melody played on the chanter.

The last movement of the work is based upon the Northumbrian pipe-tune, "The Mitford Galloway".

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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