From Blakes Milton

Burnell, Paul

Sample page


Sample score





Voices and Instruments


voices, cym, pf (2 players), any sustaining instrument


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About the work

From Blake’s ‘Milton’ was written in response to a COMA newsletter article which suggested that members may wish to write vocal pieces for the various COMA ensembles throughout the country. This setting of William Blake’s words (from the preface to his book Milton ca. 1804-08) places the performers in a time before Britain was an Empire – in a landscape which, although it may be green, is mountainous, overcast and cold enough for the air to become visible when breathing out.

First Performance: CoMA London/South East, May 1996, Brighton Festival Umbrella

Technical notes

Bowed cymbal effect difficult – “scrape” will suffice. “Hoarse” singing takes a little practice. Clarinet good for sustaining part. Complex rhythms in piano part.