Sailing to Byzantium

for solo recorder player

Brian Inglis

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for solo recorder player

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Composer Brian Inglis
Year of Composition 1999
Duration ca.25'
ISMN 9790570681228
Student Difficulty int-adv
Categories (all composers) , , ,
Catalogue ID ce-bi1stb1


I That is no country for old men…

II An aged man is but a paltry thing…

III O sages standing in God’s holy fire

IV Once out of nature

Sailing to Byzantium takes its inspiration primarily from the poem of the same name by WB Yeats, and from the mythological philosophy underlying the poem which has its fullest expression in Yeats’ prose book A Vision. The themes of the book and poem, and hence the piece, are time and transformation; these themes led me to a further source of inspiration, TS Eliot’s Four Quartets (in particular the first poem). In Sailing to Byzantium Yeats evokes a vision of a journey through sacred, purifying fire to arrive at the fabled paradise of Byzantium, a place where everything is transmuted into art and the poet himself is transformed into an exquisitely crafted golden bird.