Images – Part 1

for chamber ensemble

Robert Peate

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for chamber ensemble

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Composer Robert Peate
Year of Composition 2011
Duration ca.9'
Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-rp1i1


After producing a disparate collection of musical fragments through certain ‘field research’, I selected five poems by four poets included in an anthology of ‘imagist’ poetry to help give form to these sketches. The poems are set to music but passed around the ensemble rather than being sung by a vocalist.

The five movements preserve the titles and moods of the poems and run as follows: I- Metric Figure (William Carlos Williams), a bright and playful movement where the sun sings high in the poplars, outshining the noise of the wind. This movement then segues in to II- A Girl (Ezra Pound), where a more settled mood of sustained harmonies accompany melodic lines that search for a kind of dark, melancholic beauty. III- Oread (Hilda Doolittle); this very short, explosive movement responds to the lively character of the poem, blurring the boundaries between land and sea. IV- Sea Rose (Hilda Doolittle); much like in A Girl this movement searches for a slightly darker beauty in its sometimes meagre and warped sound world. IV then continues in to V- Nothing to Save (D.H.Lawrence), which distils the music of Sea Rose into a brief coda-like movement. In Images – Part 2 the texts are sung by a solo Soprano.

Images – Part 1 was first performed by the Academy Manson Ensemble conducted by Bruce Knockles at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in October 2011.