Commissioned by Jane Manning
PERORATION was written in 1973 in response to a commission from Jane Manning, to whom the work is dedicated. It was stimulated by a few lines from Robert Browning’s ‘Dominus Hyacinthus de Archangelis’ (The Ring and the Book). The poem recounts the trial of a certain Count Guido Francdeschini, who murdered his adulterous wife and his daughter to preserve his honour. The extracted lines from the conclusion of Count Guido’s defence are in the form of peroration. The use of Latin words and phrases so immediately followed by the English as to give the impression of simultaneous translation, gave the composer the idea for the musical form, namely two almost simultaneous parts. The first and last sections of the piece contain a third part which acts as a kind of commentary. The different parts move between the English and Latin freely.