• Anthony Payne
  • A 1940's Childhood (1989)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Clive Conway and Gerald Garcia

  • fl gtr
  • fl hp
  • 13 min

Programme Note

When the flautist Clive Conqay commissioned me to write something for flute and guitar in 1986 it enabled me to focus and combine several ideas that had occupied me for some time: the composition of a work in a number of short movements (as opposed to the single movement structures I had long favoured), the invention of a more easygoing language than my larger-scale works had needed, and the paiting of scenes from my childhood. The restrained sonority of flute and guitas would prevent autobiographical excesses, while the lighter manner seemed well-suited to the use of short self-contained movements. My most significant childhood memories involved evacuated from the outskirts of London ot Godalming in 1941 - and a five year old's sudden intense awareness of the opposite sex.

The first movement combines images of marching soldiers who often tramped past our house with the memories of coutry walks. The second finds a relationship between the stream at the bottom of our garden and the slipstreams in the sky during the spectacular air battles of that time.The third movement is called simply 'The Girl', and it leads without a break to the final 'Night Ride and Rescue'. This refers to a recurring dream I had of rescuing the beloved on horseback.

At the request of Judith Hall and Elinor Bennett I re-arranged the piece for flute and harp, in which form it was premiered at Wigmore Hall in February 1989.