Richard Rodney Bennett
Publisher: Novello & Co
Sonnet Sequence (1974)
Graham Benyon Memorial Commission
Novello & Co Ltd
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
The original version of this setting of Shakespeare Sonnets was commissioned by the Globe Theatre Trust, and was first performed in Southwark Cathedral in 1972. The revised and expanded version (1974) was commissioned by the East Midlands Arts Association, to be known as the ‘Graham Benyon Memorial Commission’. Originally, the work consisted of settings of Sonnets XIX and XII, separated by a short interlude for strings. When the work was expanded certain details of the scoring was changed and a setting of Sonnet CIV was added, also a further interlude. The new sonnet-setting involves an important part for solo viola. All three sonnets are concerned with Time.
Graham Beynon was the first Director of the East Midlands Arts Association, and previously Director of the York Festival.