‘when the sun begins to fling’ takes as its starting point the oratorio ‘L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato’ by Handel. The oratorio is a setting of two poems by Milton. In the first poem Milton evokes the delights of the country and the excitement of the city in order to banish melancholic feelings whilst the second poem seeks to drive out ‘vain, deluding joys’ by welcoming quiet contemplation and the pleasures of the mind. The piece draws on one particular section of recitative from Handel’s oratorio, ‘And when the Sun begins to fling’, from which all of the harmonic and rhythmic material is derived.
First Performance: Spitalfields Festival, CoMA London 2007
Commissioned by Handel House Museum for CoMA London Ensemble
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