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Composer's Note:

"In the tradition of music written in homage to a dead artist, this work was composed for Thomas Trotter in 2003 in commemoration of the French painter Georges Rouault (1871–1958). A leading figure in the artistic and intellectual revival of French Catholic life in the first half of the twentieth century, Rouault’s work was dark, subtle and moving in its observation of the frailty of human life. He painted judges, clowns, prostitutes, the poor and Christ. The archetypes and characters captured in his work were the subliminal inspiration behind much of the material in this music." —James MacMillan, 2004

"Rouault (1871-1958), depictor of Christ's sufferings and of the then in-vogue fairground/circus scenes, revealed both sacred and secular sensibilities, and MacMillan is shrewd enough (and committed enough) to realise that the two are sides of the same coin. An angst-ridden theme on solo traverse flute is set at odds (or collusion) with the cheerfully brash, angular clownings of a positive krumhorn, but from the start, as with Messiaen, you get the distinct feeling these could be the vital cavortings of the Holy Spirit itself." —Roderic Dunnett, The Independent, 22 March 2004

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