Repertoire Search

Peter Maxwell Davies

Publisher: Chester Music

Cross Lane Fair (1994)
commissioned by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the St Magnus Festival with funds provided by the Scottish Arts Council
Chester Music Ltd
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
14 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Northumbrian pipes in G, bodhran

Buy this work
Worldwide Sales   North American Sales
Study Score Study Score

Programme Note
Peter Maxwell Davies Cross Lane Fair (1994)
We are at a fair in Salford; the time is the late 1930s, and with us is the composer as a small boy, represented in what a Northumbrian piper plays (with percussion accompaniment on the traditional bodhran) in this picture by his later self. We do what you do at the fair? We visit various rides and side-shows: a ghost train and a carousel, a juggler, a bearded lady and a five-legged sheep, of which the last two, Davies recalls, 'were exhibited in a mysterious darkened tent, among other curiosities, where one paid threepence to enter'.

Read about this work at

Cross Lane Fair is an evocation of the Salford fairground of my early childhood in the late nineteen thirties, to which I was taken by my parents. The pipes, with their bodhran accompaniment, represent myself as a four or five year old and the orchestra becomes the fair, with its roundabouts and steam organs and swings. The sections, played without a break, are:

Introduction (pipes and orchestra)
Fairground (orchestra)
Ghost Trains (pipes and orchestra)
Transition (orchestra)
The Bearded Lade and the Five Legged Sheep (pipes and orchestra)
(I remember these exhibits particularly in a tent of such wonders).
Transition (orchestra)
The Juggler (orchestra)
The Roundabout (pipes and orchestra)

© Peter Maxwell Davies

Preview the score

  • Ensemble
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
    Mark Jordan (Northumbrian Pipes), Rob Lea (Bodhran)
    Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Soloist(s)
    various artists
  • 18 MAY 2008
    Cross Lane Fair London Premiere
    FUNharmonics Family Concert
    Royal Festival Hall, London
    London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Mark Jordan, Northumbrian pipes; Stuart Stratford, conductor
  • 06 MAY 2006
    The Peace Centre, Greenville, SC
    Greenville Symphony Orchestra
    Dick Henzold, Northumbrian pipes; Edvard Tchivzhel, conductor

    Other Dates:
    7 May - The Peace Centre, Greenville, SC
  • 03 DEC 2005
    Derby Cathedral, Derbyshire
    Derby Concert Orchestra
    Mark Jordan, northumbrian pipes; Jonathan Trout, conductor
  • 09 JUL 2005
    The Albert Hall, Bolton
    Robert Chasey
    Mark Jordan (Northumbrian pipes); Bolton Symphony Orchestra, conductor
  • 02 DEC 2004
    Lancaster, UK
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
    Peter Maxwell Davies, conductor
  • 01 DEC 2004
    Max Resonances
    Brown Shipley Concert Hall, RNCM
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
    Peter Maxwell Davies, conductor

Close X

Newsletter Signup

Please fill in this form to receive regular news

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2018 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.