Robert Saxton's The Resurrection Of The Soldiers for String Orchestra.
Composed and published 2016.
Duration: c. 12 minutes.
The Resurrection Of The Soldiers for String Orchestra was commissioned by George Vass, to whom it is dedicated, and the English Symphony Orchestra, for the 2016 Presteigne Festival, with funds generously provided by the John S. Cohen Foundation and the Arts Council of England.
The title derives from the final panel of Stanley Spencer’s Sandham Chapel visionary series of paintings which were the result of Spencer’s experiences in the British army in World War One and depicts soldiers emerging from their graves on the last day. The music is in three continuous sections: a slow, sustained introduction which is, in essence, a descent from the note E by means of a prolation canon, but which ascends to a rather intense climactic point before finally falling and giving way to an active fugue which, after arriving at an anguished, sustained climax, is succeeded by a closing slow movement consisting of a rising melodic line which permeates the entire texture heterophonically, leading to the closing E major triad. The work thus traces a cyclical pitch path which, while tracing a cyclical path, also develops expressively towards a sense of hope and resurrection. - Robert Saxton, April 2016