Sestina A, Op. 25/1

scoring: piano and wind quintet




commissioned by the Nash Concert Society with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain


status: LOST


First performance, 25 May 1972, Purcell Room, by the Nash Ensemble
Martin Jones, piano; Judith Pearce, flute; Robin Miller, oboe; Robert Hill, clarinet; Brian Wightman, bassoon; John Pigneguy, horn


BBC recording, broadcast Wed 12th Jun 1974, 10:35 on BBC Radio 3
Clifford Benson, piano; Judith Pearce ,flute; Robin Miller, oboe; Antony Pay, clarinet; Brian Wightman, bassoon; John Pigneguy, horn;

programme note:

The verse form called sestina, with its six 6-line stanzas and 3-line tailpiece, or "tornada", provides the point of departure for my piece. However, the nature of musical discourse makes the relationship one of analogy rather than of direct imitation, even though poem and piece are alike concerned with the permutational deployment of a fixed number of elements in new juxtapositions. The instruments themselves, with their very strong individuality of tonal contrast, may perhaps stand for the six rhymes which so strikingly dominate the matter of any poem cast in the sestina form. The piano is not treated as a soloist, and only gradually emerges to the point where, like the other participants before it, it is given a solo to itself. This moment coincides with the final summing-up of the 'tornada", which like the stanzas in this musical version, finds itself divided into two parts, solo and tutti, here of a markedly dramatic character.

The outline of the music is as follows:

Justin Connolly


other comments:


Programme note comes from concert programme for the premiere, provided from OUP archive (sic) by Jerry Butson.