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Rhapsody on an Old English Tune ("Lazarus")
for Double Orchestra of Strings

About this work

Cyril Bradley Rootham (CBR) composed his Op.67 Rhapsody on an Old English Tune ("Lazarus") in 1922 for the unusual scoring of double string orchestra.

CBR was obviously fascinated by the melody "Lazarus", originally "Dives and Lazarus". He first used the tune for his Op.52 Rhapsody on 'Lazarus' for organ, composed in 1915: the original manuscript is in the Cambridge University Library (shelfmark MS.Add.9192.111). His Op.67 Rhapsody on an Old English Tune ("Lazarus") for double string orchestra then followed in 1922. And in 1925 his Op.74 Rhapsody on an Old English Tune for organ was published. The sheet music for this Op.74 organ version is available in the Cramer edition 90102 through Presto Classical.

Op.74 Rhapsody (for organ) - Cramer Music edition

Organ edition by Cramer Music
(Catalogue 90102)

CBR's friend and contemporary Vaughan Williams also arranged "Dives and Lazarus" for various ensembles, including the well-known "Five Variants" for harp and string orchestra.


The Op.67 Rhapsody on an Old English Tune ("Lazarus") carries the dedication:
"To J. A. Fuller Maitland"

From the Wikipedia article about J. A. Fuller Maitland:
John Alexander Fuller Maitland (1856 – 1936) was an influential British music critic and scholar from the 1880s to the 1920s. He encouraged the rediscovery of English music of the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly Henry Purcell's music and English virginal music. He also propounded the notion of an English Musical Renaissance in the second half of the 19th century, particularly praising Charles Villiers Stanford and Hubert Parry.