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Piers Plowman's Day - Symphonic Suite, Op. 30 (1946-47)

The Symphonic Suite, Piers Plowman's Day, was composed in 1946-47 by Alan Bush in three movements, with the titles "The Keep", "The Bower" and "The Forest". "The Vision of Piers Plowman", a famous English epic poem of the 14th century, describes the social scene of its time, a period, when the feudal system was beginning to break down.

Each of the three movements of the suite is intended to evoke a different facet of the social life of the time; "The Keep" presents the feudal baron in the decline of his power, surrounded by his riotous retainers but himself filled with foreboding; "The Bower" suggests the courtly atmosphere of the lady of the manor and her chivalrous troubadours; in the third movement, "The Forest" conveys the rough energy of the peasants who, in the English Peasant War of 1381, rose against their feudal oppressors. It was in the forest that their underground movement was developed. The 1381 Peasant Rising forms the background to Alan Bush's first full-length opera, Wat Tyler.

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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