This work was commissioned by the BBC for the 1964 Promenade
concerts. It was written in
memory of John Hollingsworth who conducted at these concerts for a
number of years, and with whom the composer collaborated on scores for films
and television from 1955 to 1963.
The score is headed by a quotation from John Donne’s Sermon
LXXIII: “… And all the powerful Kings and all the beautiful Queens of this
world were but as a bed of flowers, some gathered at six, some at seven, some
at eight, all in one Morning, in respect of this Day.”
The title Aubade (Morning song) is thus not
intended purely descriptively. The work, in one movement, is built in a simple
arch-form around an atmospheric and cadenza-like central section.
Richard Rodney Bennett