• S/pic.bcl
  • 3 min

Programme Note

Commissioned by Jane Manning for her 70th Birthday Concert at the Purcell Room, London in 2009. Premiered by Jane Manning, with Robert Manasse (piccolo) and Sue Gill (bass clarinet).

​Don't (2009) might be regarded as a little appendix to One Life Stand. Dedicated to Jane Manning for her 70th birthday, it quickly takes its singer over the top, out of tune, and out of breath as she runs through some urgent injunctions to be observed in the daily attempt to keep the marriage running smoothly. The text was compiled from Don't's for Wives (1913), a handbook of marriage advice by Blanche Ebbutt in which the wife is advised not to exhaust her artistic power but absolutely to forbid her husband to wear "a violet tie with grass green socks". The accompaniment, for piccolo and bass clarinet, is brilliantly and wittily crafted. One can see that Ebbutt's volume could have been the source material for a One Life Stand of a hundred years ago!

© Malcolm MacDonald