Lovely Joan: Rhapsody on an English Folk Song (1990)
Duration: 9 min.
Premiere: 1990; UC Fullerton Band; M. Fennell
While Rosner had a lifelong interest in folk music from many countries and wrote several pieces with overt folk and ethnic inspiration, Lovely Joan: Rhapsody on an English Folk Song is his only composition to use an actual folk tune. It is his personal addition to the popular and traditional concert band genre of folk song rhapsodies. Rosner’s treatment is characteristic in its complete exploration of all the harmonic potential of the original tune. Formally, the work is cast in two halves: an atmospheric, motet-like “Adagio non troppo” followed by the fugal “Allegro.” This ebullient second section is filled with what the composer himself called “contrapuntal pyrotechnics” including a remarkable 10-entry stretto. (Notes by Carson Cooman)