• Peter Dickinson
  • Monologue (1959)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • str
  • 9 min

Programme Note

This sombre Monologue was written for a competition when Peter Dickinson was a graduate student at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. It was known that the contest required quiet music and that the sponsor’s tastes were distinctly conservative. However, since a performance was attached, Dickinson wrote what he wanted regardless of these requirements.

The Monologue is based on the notes, but not the tune, from a phrase in the chorus of ‘People will say we’re in love’ from the 1943 Rogers & Hammerstein musical Oklahoma. This comes at the start – softly in superimposed minor ninths – then a slow chorale develops for three-part solo strings and there are hesitant solos, glissandos and pizzicatos in an atmosphere of continuous uncertainty.

An early performance was in Athens, under Dinos Constantinides – whose Louisiana Sinfonietta played it recently at Baton Rouge, Louisiana - and the British premiere was under Roger Norrington at the College of St Mark and St John, Chelsea, in 1963.