Donald Macleod explores works by Sally Beamish that have been directly inspired by poetry and literature, including Four Songs from Hafez and Cello Concerto.
In conversation with the composer at her home in Scotland, Donald Macleod looks at Sally Beamish's works that have been directly inspired by poetry and literature. They discuss her songs setting words by the 14th century Persian poet Hafez, an orchestral work evoking the Arctic landscape that inspired Mary Shelley, and a cello concerto that takes as its starting point the 'River' poems of Ted Hughes. One of Beamish's major works, the Concerto no. 2 for Viola and Orchestra, is based on the story told by a 9th century Anglo-Saxon poem, 'The Seafarer', and features the notated calls of sea birds mentioned in the poem.