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Richard Mudge

Medley Concerto

A Concerto principally form’d upon Subjects taken from Three Country Dances, accompanied by a First and Second Horn

Two horns, strings and basso continuo

edited by Michael Talbot
Saint-Aubin (Country Dance)

“There are refined moments, such as the central fugal movement, and moments of quiet reflection, such as the minor-key Largo third movement and the very sparsely scored concertino episodes within the final Moderato. This is writing which frequently wears its layers of undoubted sophistication lightly, but there is also a lot of unadulterated fun to be had in listening to and performing this music. Horn players in particular will find much to enjoy in the prominence and extent of their role.”

The Consort | Read the review

Richard Mudge (1718–63) is already known for his Six Concertos in Seven Parts, which rank among the best concertos written by English composers in the mid-eighteenth century. Earlier believed lost, a further concerto by him has recently been identified by the editor. This very unusual concerto, which features material from popular Scottish country dances in three of its four movements, acquired the nickname of ‘Medley Concerto’ not simply on account of its borrowed themes but probably also because it was programmed in a series of so-called ‘Medley Concerts’ (variety shows) given at the Little Haymarket Theatre in London in 1757. It was published by John Johnson around the same time without mention of the composer’s name: the anonymity may have been dictated by the fact that Mudge was a clergyman who was perhaps unwilling to become publicly associated with the theatre.

The concerto is scored for a ‘concerto grosso’ ensemble of strings plus two horns in D, which have remarkably adventurous and prominent parts. It successfully combines the traditional continuous variation form of the dances themselves with baroque concerto structure, having as its centrepiece a fugal movement based on material from a dance called The Highlanders’ March. The prevailing tone is good-humoured, even slightly riotous at times. This is the perfect concluding piece for a concert.

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Leaflet Descriptive leaflet (pdf)

Medley Concerto
hh376.fsc · ISMN 979 0 708041 85 6 · ISBN 978-1-910359-13-6
Instrumental parts
hh376.ipt  · PDF; digital download
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