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ii. The Great Fold .
iii.The Clouds Give Birth.
iv. Clouds over Somme Valley
v. Sight-lines Far and Near
vi. Cliff Turned Cataract.
Postlude (A Symphony of Illusions).
For the origins of this work, we must travel back a number of years to an experience in the cinema which made me newly aware of the significance of natural illusions. Truly, things were not always what they seemed. The film had been about the wonderful white horses of the Camargue, and as they raced across the flats of the Rhône estuary with the tide on the turn, it really appeared as if they could be running on water. That mysterious, even magical image remained etches on my memory ever after, and, as the years passed, other visions of the sort were added to it, gleaned from books, pictures and my own experience; all without any thought of making creative use of them.
That is, until I was commissioned to write something orchestral for the Proms in my eightieth birthday year. It struck me that I had never composed anything for chorus and orchestra before, and this might be an opportunity to fill that long-standing gap. To my great delight, the BBC agreed to the idea, and I began to wrack my brain for possible subjects and texts. In my eagerness to interest the BBC in including a chorus in the commission, I had yet to consider this aspect of the piece!
The idea of drawing on my memory's stock of natural illusions occurred to me after coming across Roy Campbell's striking poem about the Camargue horses.
It chimed with tat early film experience, and set me to searching anthologies for texts of a similar kind. Maybe the work should concentrate on maritime themes, and I recalled a spine-chilling moment in one of Conrad's novels where a sea captain, steering through a super-storm, thought he saw cliffs ahead, only to realise that it was a giant tsunami wave which threatened to overwhelm him.
Ideal texts eluded me, however: Campbell's poem was too rich in detail to fit with my already half-formed symphonic thoughts, and Conrad's electrifying incident, if I could only locate the source, would almost certainly need topping and tailing, which would be an insult to one of our greatest writers. Finally, there was a painting by the Australian war artist Arthur Streeton, which I had viewed when teaching in Perth some years earlier. This cried out to be included in the mix. It showed a peaceful Somme landscape with clouds on the horizon; peaceful, that is, until you realised this could be smoke over a battlefield. I would have to verbalize this experience myself, and everything was now pointing to the fact that it was up to me to provide all the words for what was going to be an extensive single movement tone poem, or a symphony of illusions, as I came to view it.
First, I organised six of my illusions into a symphonic chain. After a prelude to set the scene, the first main section would present the Camargue horses in their gravity-defying flight. The second would deal with the mystery of horizons, always beyond reach, sometimes hard to discern. At the centre of the structural span would be two movements concerned with cloudscapes: the first, in homage to Whitman, shows clouds as giving birth to some mysterious entity, while the second, inspired by Streeton's painting, presents clouds hanging above a battlefield - are they progenitors of pastoral calm or of murderous fighting? In the fifth movement, a fleet-footed scherzando overlays long, slow choral textures to suggest the speeding traveller's experience, as close objects fly past while the distant terrain barely moves. Finally, we have another seascape born of Conrad's terrifying event, and the work would close with a return, in distant calm, to the prelude's music of illusion.
With the establishment of this ground plan, a rough idea of the music's symphonic flow and textural /harmonic organisation had begun to focus; and I embarked on the composition process, penning the texts as and when needed.
http://www.livingwithdragons.com/?printers=%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A&fc3=c5 Anthony Payne. ©
go site Prelude.
Of land and sea, and of the sky we sing;
Of water, earth and air, which no dividing line can quite contain;
Of clouds and waves and forests, in illusion joining.
And of man!
Out of the grey mists they fly, the wild horses of sand and sea.
Galloping, galloping, with manes, tails and hooves ablaze.
Skimming alike both land and water.
Horses, horses in ecstasy of turmoil.
Riderless horses trampling in freedom.
Mingling the spirits of earth and wave,
As they surf and they pound.
here The Great Fold.
Where lies the fold at the horizon's rim ?
Where is the crease that limns the edge of the world?
Clouds upon clouds, under sky, over land, or over sea
May be hills stretching wide on the view's distant edge.
Sky, land and sea can not define it.
Where lies the true fold?
http://parts.powercut.co.uk/?risep=%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%84%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%B3&46e=d3 The Clouds Give Birth,
Great cloud masses the poet saw.
Mournfully, slowly they rolled,
Silently swelling and mixing.
Some parturition even,
Some solemn immortal birth
On frontiers beyond sense.
http://theiu.org/?alisa=%D8%B3%D8%B9%D8%B1-%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B0%D9%87%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%85-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%86&02d=f4 Clouds over Somme Valley.
Meadows, streams and villages
Lay under the summer sky.
Farmland, trees and hedgerows
Widespread in pastoral calm.
And in distant perspective, drifting clouds
So fittingly aligned by the painter's eye,
So natural seeming,
That our casual glances fail to see
The gunsmoke and explosions of trench warfare.
Warfare under a summer sky.
http://1conn.com/page/9/?s=Sosyal Medya Sightlines Far and Near. (orchestral intermezzo/ scherzo).
source site Cliff Turned Cataract.
Beyond the high flying spray and heaving waves,
They caught a glimpse of towering cliffs,
Capping the turmoil of the sea.
Evasion was a desperate need, but the more they changed course,
The nearer drew the vision.
And then the truth dawned; they were menaced by a wave
Of terrifying height.
Majestic, and driven by a will of unimaginable force,
It was about to engulf them, and no-one would know
Or even guess what had happened.
A cliff turned cataract, and no-one would know.
go site Postlude- a Symphony of Illusions.
In sand and waves, cloudscape or sky,
And at the horizon's edge,
There lies a symphony- a symphony of illusions.
Of land and sea, and of the sky we sing!
http://www.dramauk.co.uk/?arapyza=%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%B3-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D9%84%D9%83%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%86%D9%8A&bc3=2c Anthony Payne. http://www.ac-brno.org/?pycka=%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%87%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%85-%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%B1&5c8=e4 ©