Publisher: Novello & Co
The Pure Good of Theory (2004),
For Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Novello & Co Ltd
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
This composition takes for its title that of the poem of the same name by Wallace Stevens from his 1947 collection Transport to Summer. The time of the composition’s poem, a typically nonsensical work, coincides with the revelations about Nazi mass-extermination and the ensuing judicial process for war-crimes at Nuremberg. Remembering that during this period the word ‘transport’ had acquired some especially terrible resonances and also the fact that the end of the second section contains the words ‘He was a Jew from Europe or might have been’, The Pure Good of Theory becomes an exceptional poem in Wallace’s oeuvre with its references to political machinations.