An even sadder pavane
by Peter Openshaw
A few days after Charles I’s execution, the veteran composer Thomas Tomkins wrote a consort piece entitled “A Sad Pavane for These Distracted Times”. This title has been much on my mind during our own, very different, “distracted times”. The Theorbo Today project gave me a perfect opportunity to write a “sad pavane” of my own for an instrument from Tomkins’s own time. I have followed the traditional structure of English pavanes – three sections, each followed by a freely varied repeat - and have also borrowed some of the rhythmic devices used in his music. P.O.
Peter Openshaw has been composing since childhood. From 1957 to 1962 he was a member of the Children’s Opera Group, who performed three of his stage works. He read music at Oxford University, where he continued to compose, but did not pursue a musical career professionally. In recent years he has composed mainly songs and chamber music. In 2016 he joined the London Composers Forum, and is now their Secretary. He regards himself as “an amateur composer with professional standards” and greatly enjoys working with professional musicians.