by Patrick J. Burns (Grade 4, 5:30)
My Love Is Fairer Than Any was composed in the summer of 2018 for the outstanding Scarsdale High School Wind Ensemble (Jason Noble, Director) for their tour of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in February 2019. The piece takes its title from a line in the tune on which it’s based, “Red Is the Rose” - one of the great and enduring Irish folk melodies. In this setting for wind band, there is lyricism, tenderness, drama, passion, reflection - all elements which are expressed in the lyric to the original tune. the incorporation of Celtic drumming figures adds to the restive quality of the piece as the music unfolds, and also provides an element of great contrast to the overall lyricism of the piece. This modern version is bittersweet in nature, which reflects the character of the original tune, a love song as timeless as the hills of Ireland:
Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows
Fair is the lily of the valley
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any.