Third parable for church performance, op. 81
Period of composition: Nov 1967 - Apr 1968
Date notes

Britten suggested the subject to William Plomer in January 1967.

First performance: 19 Jun 1968 >>
Type of performance: Staged performance
Location: Orford Church, Aldeburgh Festival
Performance details:

Peter Pears Tempter, John Shirley-Quirk Father, Bryan Drake Elder son, Robert Tear Younger son, EOG chorus, Richard Adeney fl, PHilip Jones tpt, Neill Sanders hn, Cecil Aronowitz va, Keith Marjoram db, Osian Ellis harp, James Blades perc, Philip Ledger org

Colin Graham prod, Annena Stubbs costumes

Genre: Stage work
Text: William Plomer (1903-1973) after ''Luke'' 15: 11-32
Performing forces:

Cast and instruments

Principals: Tempter/Abbot ten, Father (bass-bar, Elder sSon bar, Younger son ten

Chorus of servants, parasites and beggars 3 ten, 3 bar, 2 bass, Young servants and Distant voices 5 trbl

Instrumentalists: alto fl (=picc), tpt in D, hn, va, db, harp, perc (5 small untuned drums, small Chinese cymb, conical gourd rattle, large tuned gong (f), 2 tuned wb (A, D sharp), high pitch wb), chamber org

On-stage: small drum (tambour), small cymb, tamb, sistrum (jingle rattle), small bell-lyra

The work is to be performed without conductor.

Duration: 69'
Dedication: 'For Dmitri Shostakovich'

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1906-1975), Russian composer of the Soviet period.


The framing plainsong uses the text of the Office hymn for Prime 'Jam lucis orto sidere', with the tune of 'Nunc sancte nobis spiritus', the Office hymn for Terce.