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The Lone Seafarer

for solo violin

Composition Date: 1998

Duration: 12'



Commissioned by Seaton and District Music Club. First performance given by Anthony Marwood in Seaton, Devon, 1 January 1998.

Programme Note:

The Lone Seafarer

The piece is inspired by a poem of the same name, contained in a 10th century codex at Exeter Cathedral, but thought to be much older. It combines ideas from prehistoric paganism with those of Christianity, and follows the traces of Gilgamesh, the first man in history, in his quest for eternal life, using the metaphor of a sea-voyage.

The poem is laden with beautiful and unusual imagery, as this excerpt illustrates:

All I ever heard along the ice-way was sounding sea; the

gannet's shanty, whooper and curlew calls and the mewling gull

were all my gaming, mead and mirth.At tempest-tested granite crags the ice-winged tern would taunt; spray- feathered ospreys overhead would soar and scream.

(translation – Charles Harrison Wallace)

The piece was commisioned by Seaton and District Music Club, and first performed by Anthony Marwood, Seaton, Devon, Jan 1998.

Sally Beamish 1998


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