Processional and Bacchanal

for orchestra

Robert Peate

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for orchestra

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Composer Robert Peate
Year of Composition 2012
Duration ca.8'

Instrumentation Orchestra
Forces Fl, Fl/Picc, Picc, 2Ob, CA, Bb.Cl, Bb.Cl/Eb.Cl, BCl, 2Bsn, Cbsn, 4Hn, 2Tpt, 2Tbn, BTbn, Tba, 3Perc, Timp, Org, Hp, Strings
Categories (all composers)
Catalogue ID ce-rp1pab1



Processional and Bacchanal is a single-movement piece which depicts an approaching, riotous Bacchanal.

A slow repeated rhythm underpins the music, which gradually accumulates other ideas and layers, before finally being piled-up and pushed to saturation point. The kinds of images found on ancient carvings – of Dionysus surrounded by a parade of maenads and satyrs, all dancing, drinking and playing music – suggested various ‘scenes’. And the idea of seeing this procession gradually approach from the distance, before drawing the spectator into its raving frenzy – provided a formal model.

Besides trying to reflect a primal sense of intoxication and ecstasy, the overall crescendo of the piece (moving from one extreme to the other) also representsthe regenerative, phoenix-like life-cycle of Dionysus, as he is reborn each spring, and then burns himself out.