Invitation to Eternity


Invitation to Eternity was written in 2002 and is the first part of my John Clare Triptych, dedicated to the life and works of the English poet John Clare (1793-1864). Invitation to Eternity is based on his lesser known, often unfinished, rather strange poems. They reflect a troubled but highly original personality (he spent the last 27 years of his life in lunatic asylums in London and Northampton) which has fascinated me for a very long time. It remains a mystery how this son of a poor farmhand with little or no education was able to produce poetry of such high quality. The composition consists of an instrumental introduction and seven songs; the voice employs some unusual vocal techniques in order to express the unreal, elusive atmosphere of the sometimes confused and incoherent poems.

Jacques Bank NL

Jacques Bank’s works have been performed in The Netherlands and abroad at events such as Gaudeamus Music Week, the Holland Festival and the ISCM World Music Days in Israel (1980), Warsaw (1992), Seoul (1997) and Zagreb (2005).  The composer of numerous chamber works, Bank has also written four operas, three of them on librettos by the artist Fer Bank.  Currently he is working on an opera, with libretto by Fer Bank, based on the life of black American cyclist Major Taylor, who scored many triumphs in the beginning of the last century.  Bank’s orchestral works include Episodes de la Vie d’un artiste on texts by Hector Berlioz and his contemporaries, scored for three singers, mixed choir, boys’ choir, two accordions and large orchestra which was commissioned for the 75th anniversary of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in 1994; and Uiteindelijke Dingen (Ultimate Things) on a text by Karel van het Reve and scored for soprano, tenor, mixed choir and orchestra.

Jacques Bank studied composition with Ton de Leeuw and Jos Kunst at the Sweelinck Conservatory (Amsterdam), where he was awarded the Prize for Composition in 1974. He is winner of the 1989 Matthijs Vermeulen Prize, Holland’s highest composition honour, for Requiem voor Een Levende (Requiem for a Living One), based on mediaeval, Latin and French texts, scored for speaking voice, mixed choir, four saxophones, nine accordions, three basses and percussion.  His works are available on the Emergo Classics, Erasmus and Donemus labels.

Jacques Bank