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Words by Robin Walter

Drawings by Juliet Wimhurst

Set to the music of Barber's Adagio

Samuel Barber wrote his String Quartet in 1936, including the slow Adagio movement. As this proved popular, he arranged it for string orchestra, first performed in 1938. He later made an arrangement for SATB choir, performed in 1967. 

When Karen Wimhurst's choir Palida were asked to sing it, I thought I would write a new libretto for our times.


Invocation is an invitation to the four elements, in their benign forms, to come to us and enrich our lives.

It is also a warning to humans not to summon the elements in their destructive shadow forms.

"Come, come soon

       you precious sun from the darkness,

       touch us with your golden rays . . . "

The concert in November 2022 was not recorded, but here is a report from the local radio station This Is Alfred (starts at 5.35)

Invocation cover.png

Now printed in A5 format, one of a set with cleave and Arbor Vitae.

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