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Overture to 'Polly'

for orchestra
edited by Robert Hoskins
Edition: Matériel d'exécution

Détails du produit


Samuel Arnold (1740-1802) was the most popular composer for the London stage of the late 18th-century. Among his greatest successes were The Castle of Andalusia (1782), an early gothic fantasy, and Inkle and Yarico (1787), the first anti-slavery opera. Polly (1728), sequel to The Beggar’s Opera, with tunes harmonized by Johann Christoph Pepusch to a libretto by John Gay, was banned by Walpole’s government and did not receive its premiere – and then in a very heavily revised version – until 1777. Arnold’s newly composed overture was greatly admired and shows his great skill as a theatrical composer. The thirteen tunes from The Beggar’s Opera which make up the overture to Polly were selected and grouped by Arnold with particular care. Nos 1-6 make up a kind of Allegro “exposition” framed by drinking songs (Nos. 1,2,6); the first of two inner “quarrel” songs sharpens the tonality into the dominant and Macheath’s ‘dilemma’ song, with its raised pulse-rate, leads into an accelerated close. The central sections are reserved for Polly with orchestral tutti now reduced to strings for her protest song (No.7) and strings with oboes for the ruminative ‘love’ music (No.8) placed in the tonic minor. Allegro and 6/8 serve a bristling ‘resolution’ of five tunes bound by the theme of ‘womankind’ (wenching, jealousy, fading beauty); not even a tonic minor episode checks the teasing comic tone. Orchestrally, this closing section is like a rondo alternating tutti with string episodes; the rounding- off bars connect directly to the cackling quavers in the finale of Pepusch’s overture to The Beggar’s Opera. Although Arnold’s overture resembles a structured “logical improvisation” in three sections its inner fibre is subtly centred on Polly who enshrines the main moral concerns of both parent opera and sequel.

Orchestral Cast

Plus d'infos

Overture to 'Polly'
for orchestra
edited by Robert Hoskins
Matériel d'exécution
Maison d'édition:
Artaria Editions
6 ′

Détails techniques

Numéro du produit:
LAE 88-01
Droits de livraison:
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