The text of Twelve Hours of Sunset is taken from a song of the same name by Roy Harper. The song evokes the experience of taking a long-haul flight travelling from East to West in the evening. 'Since this is against the direction of the Earth's rotation,' wrote David Bedford, 'the effect is to the retard the apparent speed of the sun's motion tso that it almost appears to stand still. It is this strange feeling of suspenison, timeless and perpetual evening which the piece attempts to convey'.
Twelve hours of Sunset was commisioned by the BBC for the 1975 Proms season and was first performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Poole. Coruch End Festival Chorus recorded Twelve Hours of Sunset with the BBC SYmphony Orhcestra under Jac van Steen in 1997. The recording was released by the NMC label as part of a compilation CD, David Bedford- Orchestra & Choral Works, in honour of the composer's 60th birthday.
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