A Thomas Hardy Trilogy was originally written for an erstwhile pupil of the composer who sang many of Britten’s songs based on Hardy, and was scored for Crumhorn and Piano.
The movements in the piece are intended to reflect the titles of the novels by word association.
Trumpet Major (an NCO responsible for Trumpeter discipline) refers to the character John Loveday, and the piece has a slightly melancholy inner section to depict Hardy’s rather dour manner.
The mood of Tess speaks for itself, the poor creature baptised with bad luck.
Under the Greenwood Tree is a romantic novel involving choirs and instrumentalists with a pastoral flavour, and The Maypole Dance is a hint of the culminating wedding ceremony knees up!
Horn in F