"… full of new wine …", a brief sortie for Pentecost/Whitsun, is inspired by the account in Acts, chapter 2 (the actual quotation is from verse 13). His disciples, presumably bereft and at a loss after Jesus’s death, gather in an upper room, uncertain of their future (and present and past). Suddenly, from heaven, sound and wind fill the place, and tongues of fire appear over all their heads; and, filled with the Holy Ghost they begin to babble in languages not their own. They pour out into the street below, giving voice to "the wonderful works of God" – falling sometimes on fertile soil; but elsewhere, ‘others, mocking, said, ‘These men are full of new wine’." As indeed they were! This little piece attempts a mix of narrative depiction with something of the euphoric, ebullient, drunken gaiety that can accompany inspiration of any kind. After a joyous climax it recedes and eventually disappears into the depths as it had emerged at the start from the heights.
Programme note © Robin Holloway 2018
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer.