I had for many years wanted to set Marina, and the opportunity came to start work on it in mid August 1988. About a year later, having completed in the meantime the Horn Trio Opus 29 and the Cantata Opus 30, I turned back to the drafts of Marina and completed it on 10 September 1989. It is dedicated to the memory of my daughter, who was murdered in Bavaria on 10 September 1988.
Marina is the heroine of Shakespeare’s Pericles, a play remarkable for one of the most moving of all Shakespeare’s recognition scenes – a dramatic situation which never failed to draw out his deepest expression of feeling. This is the re-meeting of an ageing father with his long-lost daughter, born at sea during the storm in which her mother is thought to have died, and long believed to be dead herself. Eliot transforms the two character’s mutual recognition into a transfigured mediation and surrounds it with a wealth of mainly marine imagery. In the words of Helen Gardener, these images are:
The prelude to a moment of ecstatic recognition.
The voyage in Marina discovers in the ocean an
island, and sees again a beloved face. Its theme
is not the immortality of the soul, but resurrection