program notes by composition > F > Foster's America

Foster's America

David R. Gillingham

Foster’s America is a three-movement suite featuring four original songs by American composer Stephen C. Foster (1826-1864). The first movement is "A Penny for Your Thoughts" arranged in a march-like style with scoring reminiscent of vintage banjo or guitar accompaniments. "Beautiful Dreamer" begins with a flute and clarinet solo in dialogue accompanied by a texture of vibraphone, bells, and marimba to enhance the ambiance. In the third movement, "If You've Only Got a Moustache" is a sort of novelty song treated in tongue-in-cheek fashion, while "Gentle Lena Clare" in contrast, is treated with expressive sweetness. Both tunes join together (not quite exactly) followed by a rousing coda.

Last updated on July 5, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band