- Duration: 10 minutes
- Soloist(s): Soprano
- Chorus: SATB
- Instrumentation: Small string orchestra
- Published by: Novello & Co
This is an imaginative and accessible setting of Wilfred Owen’s unfinished poem I Know the Music which describes the sounds of the battlefield as musical, a lament for the loss of beauty in a time of unimaginable tragedy. The sounds of bells, bugles and the countryside are brought to life in a work which mirrors both the pain of war and the comfort that music can bring. There are two sections where the soprano solo comes to the fore and the strings provide a programmatic backdrop.
Commissioned by Aliquando Choir for the town of Henley-on-Thames and the wider community, Patrick composed this for the memory of those who served their country in times of war. I Know The Music was premiered on the 8th of November 2014 in St Mary’s Church in Henley-on-Thames by Aliquando Choir, the Soprano Meryl Davies, West Forest Sinfonia, all conducted by Patrick himself, in the presence of Wilfred Owen’s nephew, Peter Owen.
I Know The Music (unfinished)
Pacific lamentations of slow bells,
The crunch of boots on blue snow rosy-glistening,
Shuffle of autumn leaves; and all farewells:Bugles that sadden all the evening air,
And country bells clamouring their last appeals
Before [the] music of the evening prayer;
Bridges, sonorous under carriage wheels.
Gurgle of sluicing surge through hollow rocks,
The gluttonous lapping of the waves on weeds,
Whisper of grass; the myriad-tinkling flocks,
The warbling drawl of flutes and shepherds’ reeds.
The orchestral noises of October nights
Blowing ( ) symphonetic storms
Of startled clarions ( )
Drums, rumbling and rolling thunderous and ( ).
Thrilling of throstles in the keen blue dawn,
Bees fumbling and fuming over sainfoin-fields.
Words: Wilfred Owen (1893 – 1918)