Become a Friend of the Trust
Contact us

Two Shakespeare Sonnets for Baritone and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 92 (1980)

1. Introduction
2. Sonnet 18
3. Idyll
4. Sonnet 60
5. Dance

The five movements of the work form one continuous whole. Each movement, whether instrumental or vocal, leads without a break into that which follows.

The orchestral part includes many solo passages for the three woodwind instruments as well as for violin, viola and cello. But there are also some powerful orchestral tuttis, when the voice is silent. The piano has a special role; it is first heard as a sort of announcer for the singer. Apart from this, in the dramatic vocal climaxes it supplies forceful accompanying passages which, however, do not drown the singer as a heavy orchestral accompaniment would inevitably do.

Sonnet 18 opens as follows:
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou are more lovely and more temperate:"

Then gently foreshadows youth's decline.

Sonnet 60 begins in realistic mood:
"Like as the waves made towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;"

Yet both Sonnets finish with the hope expressed that in the "eternal lines" of the poet's verse a measure of immortality is assured to the person addressed.

The work is dedicated to the composer's wife, Nancy.

Music Home
Index of Works

Major Works
Wat Tyler
Men of Blackmoor
The Sugar Reapers
Joe Hill - The Man Who Never Died
Orchestral Work
Symphony No. 1 in C
Symphony No. 2 'The Nottingham Symphony'
Symphony No. 3 'The Byron Symphony' with Baritone Solo and Mixed Chorus
Symphony No. 4 - Lascaux Symphony
Dorian Passacaglia and Fugue
Piano Concerto
Violin Concerto
Chamber Music
Dialectic for String Quartet
Concert Piece for Cello and Piano
Lyric Interlude for Violin Solo with Piano Accompaniment
Three Concert Studies for Piano, Violin and Cello
Piano Music
Twenty Four Preludes
Choral Music
'The Winter Journey' - A Christmas Cantata for Soprano and Baritone Solo, Mixed Chorus, String Quintet and Harp
Solo Song
'Voices of the Prophets' - Cantata for Tenor and Piano
'The Freight of Harvest' - Song Cycle for Tenor and Piano
'Life's Span' - Song Cycle for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano
'Woman's Life' - Song cycle for Soprano and Piano