In Time of Plague, Burgess's setting for unaccompanied soprano, alto, tenor and bass chorus of a poem from Thomas Nashe's masque "A Pleasant Comedie, called Summers Last Will and Testament."

Scope and Content

The original score - of which this is a photocopy - is handwritten by Burgess and is inscribed "Oct. 1 1984 Monaco".

A transcript of Nashe's poem is filed alongside the score.

See also AB/ARCH/A/MUS/69: File containing fragments of unidentified score for solo voice, or soprano alto, tenor and bass chorus.

Administrative / Biographical History

In October 1984 Burgess sent Yvar Mikhashoff (1941-1993), an American pianist on the music faculty of the State University of New York, a copy of his new choral work, "In Time of Plague". (Burgess had most likely met Mikhashoff during his residency at the State University of New York in Spring 1976.) Mikhashoff subsequently invited Burgess to compose a piece for the International Tango Collection, an initiative that Mikhashoff had conceived the previous year. Burgess completed his Tango for Pianoforte in November 1984.

In Time of Plague was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 'An Airful of Burgess' on 21 August 1994.

Alternative Form Available

An engraved copy of the score, published by Saga Music Publishing Ltd in 1994, is filed alongside the photocopied manuscript.

Location of Originals

"Anthony Burgess Papers", Harry Ransom Center: The University of Texas, Austin.