• Julian Philips
  • Four Sonnets of John Clare (2002)

  • Peters Edition Limited (World)
  • Bar + pf
  • Baritone
  • 10 min

Programme Note

Four Sonnets of John Clare (2002)
for baritone and piano

Four Sonnets of John Clare is a 12-minute work for baritone and piano which sets four sonnets by the English poet John Clare. The work reflects on different aspects of Clare's human experience: the transcience of worldly renown, the loss of inspiration, a fear of neglect in death and a love of the numinous in nature, and the music seeks to match Clare's poetic gestures with clarity and economy.

1. Fame
2. The Death of Beauty
3. Memory
4. The Shepherd's Tree

The Four Sonnets of John Clare were completed in April 2002 and commissioned by Wigmore Hall, with funds made available by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust. The set was written specially for Sir Thomas Allen and Graham Johnson, who gave its premiere on 16 July 2002 at London's Wigmore Hall. The work is dedicated to William Lyne.

Julian Philips, 2023