• Anthony Payne
  • The Enchantress Plays (1991)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Park Lane Group and funded by Greater London Arts

  • Bassoonpf
  • 9 min

Programme Note

"Tell me not here, it needs not saying,
What tune the enchantress plays
In aftermaths of sort September
Or under blanching mays,…"

Thus opens one of Housman's most magical late poems. It most aptly sums up the testural and harmonic aura of this short piece, which at the same time muses in intimate surroundings over musical fragments stirred up by bigger works I had recently composed.
The material evolves freely like a stream of consciousness (originally, a possible title for the piece was 'Chain of Events'), but eventually it coalesces into a lyrical song for the bassoon against an impressionistic backcloth. Finally, seeds which have been dropped earlier bear fruit in a quicker section. It is as if an 'Adagio and Finale' had been half-submerged in a less formal improvisatory structure.