Britten suggested the subject to William Plomer in January 1967.
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
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.
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.