Mezzo-soprano solo, alto flute, bass clarinet, *percussion (1 player), guitar, piano, viola, cello
*percussion (1 player): deep nipple gong (low F), tam-tam, very small high claves, very large bass drum, tenor drum, marimba (down to bass C), crotales (2 octaves from middle C, chromatic), glockenspiel, small suspended cymbal, belltree, small high wood block
Note by Paul Griffiths
This Christmas recitative is a further response to the mixture of the everyday and the mythically illuminated in George Mackay Brown’s verse; it is a scena for the Bethlehem gatekeeper, who greets all the cast of the crib scene as they arrive. The music similarly interweaves a natural tone, in the syllabic treatment and the folk-ballad intonations, with virtuosity and complexity in the accompaniment.
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Tuesday, 20 January 1987
The Fires of London