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The Mosaique of the Aire

mezzo-soprano and ensemble (2019-2020)

text by Oliver Cromwell, Andrew Marvell, William Wordsworth, and from the Book of Ezekiel

flute (= piccolo)—oboe—clarinet in A—horn—percussion—piano—harp—strings (

Commissioned by the Mahler Foundation with generous funds from William L. Richter, Santa Cruz (California).

World premiere: Paradiso, Amsterdam, as part of Het Concertgebouw's Mahler Festival 2020. Orchestra for the Earth, Gabriella Noble (soprano) and John Warner (conductor).

UK premiere: London

US premiere: California (tbc) 

For further details see here

Due to COVID-19 the world premiere of this piece has sadly been cancelled. Details of further performances will be announced at a later date. 

You can buy a score of The Mosaique of the Aire from SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, available here


Part I—Parliament

from Ezekiel                 And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark;—

from Cromwell            Dissension in a country in civil war!—

from Ezekiel                 I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.

from Cromwell            Dissension, division, destruction.


Part II—The garden at Appleton House, mid-17th century


from Marvell              Fair Quiet, have I found thee here, 

                                        And Innocence, thy sister dear! 

                                        Mistaken long, I sought you then 

                                        In busy companies of men; 


                                        Society is all but rude, 

                                        To this delicious solitude. 


                                        What wondr’ous life in this I lead! 


Part III—Simplon Pass


Part IV—Appleton House, moments later


from Marvell               Meanwhile the Mind, from pleasure less,

                                        Withdraws into its happiness: 

                                        The Mind, that Ocean where each kind

                                        Does straight its own resemblance find;

                                        Yet it creates, transcending these,

                                        Far other Worlds, and other Seas; 

                                        Annihilating all that’s made

                                        To a green thought in a green Shade.

Part V—Simplon Pass; later, by a river covered in thick foam

from Wordsworth      Were all like workings of one mind, the features

                                        Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree,

                                        Characters of the great Apocalypse,

                                        The types and symbols of Eternity,

                                        Of first and last, and midst, and without end.


Text by the composer   But when the sun does rise, three figures bathe

                                        in bulbous clouds of billowing white scum.



Excluding the last two lines, the text is taken from the following sources: Oliver Cromwell, Speech to the Second Protecorate Parliament, (25th January 1657); Ezekiel 72:3 (King James Bible); Andrew Marvell, The Garden, 9-12, 15-16, 33, 41-48; William Wordsworth, The Prelude, VI, 571-575. 

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