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Program Notes

Mannin Veen

tone poem (1933)

Haydn Wood, composer

Mannin Veen means “Dear Isle of Man.” This great tone poem for band is based on Manx tunes. The first, “The Good Old Way,” is an old and typical air written mostly in Dorian mode. The second tune, which introduces the lively section of the work, is a reel — “The Manx Fiddler.” The third tune, “Sweet Water in the Common,” relates the old practice of summoning a jury of twenty-four men, comprised of three men from each of the parishes in the district where the dispute took place, to decide questions connected with watercourses, boundaries, etc. The fourth and last tune is a fine old hymn, “The Harvest of the Sea,” sung by fishermen as a song of thanksgiving after their safe return from the fishing grounds.

—published score

Mannin Veen is Gaelic for “Dear Isle of Man” and was originally written for orchestra in 1933. The work embodies Wood’s unique ability to meld folksong material into a cohesive, single-movement work. This tone poem (a compositional form that is programmatic and founded on a non-musical thing or idea), is based on four Manx folk songs that include a lively traditional air, a Scottish or Gaelic reel much like our American hoedown, a summoning song set as a ballad, and an old hymn sung by fishermen after their safe return from the sea. This collection beautifully represents the picturesque Isle of Man, located in the Irish sea between England and Ireland, where Wood lived as a youth.

JRO

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