Speak your mind, Compromise – Barter, Trust

Burnell, Paul

About the work

The piece takes inspiration from the concept of the political process itself, starting from words by William Burke ‘s (1729-97) “Speech on Conciliation with America”. “All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter”.
This uncompromising quote did not itself suggest all that was required, and so I tried to suggest the ideas of ‘Speak your mind’ and ‘Trust’ in the other two sections. The players perform from the score, and so are playing as a single ‘forum’.

First Performance: CoMA Wind Quintet, Chamber Music Exchange concert, Royal College of Music, 17th June 2000

Technical notes

Performers play from a score, inserting their own clef. Players should sit with the flute and clarinet on the outer edges of the semi-circle of performers, then oboe, and bassoon, with the horn in centre.


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score & parts


Sample score



3m 00s




Wind Ensemble


fl, ob, cl, hn, bn
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