Last updated: 19.12.19
Composer: P. Clark Suppliers: smp_unav15.gif  
Editor: Quartet D/A/T/B
Publisher: Hawthorns Music Publication: RA 84
Jane Minns of the Berkshire Recorder Consort| introduced me to Alcaïcs during a workshop with Paul Clark, its composer. This was written for the London S.R.P. Playing Day, 17th July, 1993. For a full hour, Paul delighted us going into the finer points of his work. To give in words, the flavour, wit and elegance of this piece, I could do no better than to reproduce Paul's own words taken from the rear cover of his sheet music.
Alcaïcs, by Paul Clark
I first met Alcaïcs in a Samuel Butler reader, in chapter 44 of The way of All Flesh. They are a form of poetic stanza used much by Alcaeus, a lyric poet of the 7th-6th centuries BC, born at Mytilene in Lesbos, a contemporary of Sappho.

The form of the stanza was

as for instance in
On reading through the tales of Odysse-us,
I couldn't understand the enormous fuss
That's mode of this heroic roamer,
Nor the honour heaped on Homer

My Alcaïcs is based on this rhythm, falsely, because Greek scansion was quantitative, depending on the sounded length of the syllables, not their accentuation. But I wrote the music anyway!
Paul Clark: June 1996.