Commissioned by the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles Education Trust and the Laura Ashley Trust

First performed on February 9, 1995 by the Guildhall Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Peter Gane

  • 3333/4331/timp.2perc
  • 12 min

Programme Note

The title RING, TIME was suggested to me by Sir Michael Tippett's fascination with time (as in THE VISION OF ST. AUGUSTINE and THE MASK OF TIME in particular). His love of the English madrigalists and consort composers also conjured up the name of Thomas Morley who set IT WAS A LOVER AND HIS LASS for Shakespeare; this little song contains the line "the only pretty ring time". The cyclic structure of the piece, the superimposed metrical schemes and the idea of ringing gave me the title. The piece falls into three sections, the first of which is itself divided into 2 parts - the first of these is for brass and bells and forms an arc; the second is a canonic passage for woodwind and vibraphone which speeds up then leads straight into the second section, a quick dance. This reaches a climax and goes into the final section where the initial note of the piece E-flat becomes E-flat major and the entire ensemble is transformed into a huge bell. This reference, coupled with the structure of my piece and the bell-sounds heard, made RING, TIME seem an appropriate title.

© Robert Saxton