Time Will Pronounce

Last updated

Time Will Pronounce
The 1992 Commissions
photo by John Bellars
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 1, 1993 (UK)
September 14, 1993 (United States)
RecordedJune 12, October 19, and November 19 & 21, 1992
Studio St. Augustine's Church, Abbey Road, and St. Michael's Church (London)
Genre Contemporary classical music, chamber music, minimalist music, art song
Label Argo
Producer Michael Nyman, Michael J. Dutton
Michael Nyman chronology
The Essential Michael Nyman Band
Time Will Pronounce
The 1992 Commissions

The Piano
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [1]

Time Will Pronounce: The 1992 Commissions is a 1993 album by Michael Nyman, his eighteenth release. Nyman does not perform on the album, but he composed all the music, produced it, and wrote the liner notes. The album contains four compositions. The album is dedicated to the memory of Tony Simons, "friend, manager, and generous and courageous survivor." The album is named for the second and longest of the four works, the only one featuring a former member of the Michael Nyman Band, Elisabeth Perry.


Self-laudatory hymn of Inanna and her omnipotence


James Bowman, countertenor


Inanna is the Queen of the Heavens in the Sumerian religion. Nyman found the text on February 12, 1992, in a translation by Samuel Noah Kramer in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament edited by James B. Pritchard (3rd edition with supplement, Princeton University Press, 1969), in the personal library of an Armenian friend. In the hymn, Inanna speaks proudly of all that her father, Enlil, has given her, and it takes the form of a list. Its audacity, shamelessness, and repetitive structure appealed to him, and thought it would be suitable for James Bowman's voice. He became even more interested in setting the work when he learned that Inanna is well-known deity embraced by many feminists, and not obscure, as he had initially thought. Indeed, she superseded all Sumerian deities, male or female, by the end of the Sumerian civilization. [2] In spite of the last stanza of the piece being the most repetitive, Nyman chose to use cadential diversity rather than repetition.

The work was first performed June 11, 1992, at Christ Church, Spitalfields in London. The recording was made the following day at St. Augustine's Church.

Time will pronounce


Trio of London

The title of Time will pronounce is derived from the closing lines of Joseph Brodsky's "Bosnia Tune." Nyman uses the word "generally" five times in describing the nature of the work—violin and cello independent of piano, alternating tempi without motivation, use of harmonics, and so on. The piece premiered July 14 at the Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham.

The convertibility of lute strings


Virginia Black, harpsichord

Commissioned by neurologist Anthony Roberts for Virginia Black, a fellow student with whom Nyman studied harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music, the title refers to a late sixteenth century practice to which Christopher Marlowe refers in his book, The Reckoning on the death of Christopher Marlowe, in which lute strings were popular to use as a commodity with moneylenders when money was not available, but Nyman states that this is completely irrelevant to the piece, and that his only musical reference in it is to the closing section of his own opera, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat , because the piece was commissioned by a neurologist.

This work was first performed November 19 at the Purcell Room in London, and was recorded at St. Michael's Church in Highgate two days later.

For John Cage


London Brass

Mark Bennett was a guest performer on The Kiss and Other Movements . The piece is named because the work was completed on August 12, 1992, and Nyman read in the newspaper the following day that John Cage had died, although Cage's influence is not directly felt in the piece, and Nyman acknowledges the piece might not be to his taste. On earlier sheets of the work, he noted the deaths of Miles Davis (who died September 29, the day it was begun) and Ástor Piazzolla. The working title for the piece has been "Canons, chorales and waltzes," but Nyman rejected this because there was only one canon, one waltz, and no chorales. The work features a non-simultaneous multiplicity of the group operating more like ensembles that constantly change. [3]

This piece was first performed November 16 at Norton Knatchbull School in Ashford, Kent, and was recorded five days later at Abbey Road Studios.

Album credits

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Nyman</span> English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist

Michael Laurence Nyman, CBE is an English composer, pianist, librettist, musicologist, and filmmaker. He is known for numerous film scores, and his multi-platinum soundtrack album to Jane Campion's The Piano. He has written a number of operas, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; Letters, Riddles and Writs; Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs; Facing Goya; Man and Boy: Dada; Love Counts; and Sparkie: Cage and Beyond. He has written six concerti, five string quartets, and many other chamber works, many for his Michael Nyman Band. He is also a performing pianist. Nyman prefers to write opera over other forms of music.

<i>L.A. Is My Lady</i> 1984 studio album by Frank Sinatra

L.A. Is My Lady is the 57th and final solo studio album by American singer Frank Sinatra, released in 1984 and produced by Quincy Jones. While the album was Sinatra's last, he recorded five further songs, only four of which have been officially released.

Facing Goya (2000) is an opera in four acts by Michael Nyman on a libretto by Victoria Hardie. It is an expansion of their one-act opera called Vital Statistics from 1987, dealing with such subjects as physiognomy, eugenics, and its practitioners, and also incorporates a musical motif from Nyman's art song, "The Kiss", inspired by a Paul Richards painting. Nyman also considers the work thematically tied to his other works, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, The Ogre, and Gattaca, though he does not quote any of these musically, save a very brief passage of the latter. It was premièred at the Auditorio de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain on 3 August 2000. The revision with the cast heard on the album premiered at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Germany, on October 19, 2002. Vital Statistics has been withdrawn. The Santiago version included more material from Vital Statistics. The opera was most recently performed at the 2014 Spoleto Festival USA, located in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Michael Nyman Band, formerly known as the Campiello Band, is a group formed as a street band for a 1976 production of Carlo Goldoni's 1756 play, Il Campiello directed by Bill Bryden at the Old Vic. The band did not wish to break up after the production ended, so its director, Michael Nyman, began composing music for the group to perform, beginning with "In Re Don Giovanni", written in 1977. Originally made up of old instruments such as rebecs, sackbuts and shawms alongside more modern instruments like the banjo and saxophone to produce as loud a sound as possible without amplification, it later switched to a fully amplified line-up of string quartet, double bass, clarinet, three saxophones, horn, trumpet, bass trombone, bass guitar, and piano. This lineup has been variously altered and augmented for some works.

<i>À la folie</i> 1994 French film

À la folie is a 1994 French drama film by Diane Kurys with music by Michael Nyman. It entered the competition at the 51st Venice International Film Festival.

<i>The Michael Nyman Songbook</i> 1992 German film

The Michael Nyman Songbook is a collection of art songs by Michael Nyman based on texts by Paul Celan, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, William Shakespeare and Arthur Rimbaud. It was recorded as an album with Ute Lemper in 1991, and again as a concert film in 1992, under the direction of Volker Schlöndorff, again with Ute Lemper, though many of the musicians had changed. The songs have been recorded by others and as instrumentals, and are published by Chester Music. The album has been issued by both London Records and Argo Records, though the covers are the same except for the logo.

<i>Michael Nyman Live</i> 1994 live album by Michael Nyman

Live is a 1994 album by Michael Nyman and the Michael Nyman Band. It is Nyman's 24th release and the fifteenth with the Band. It is the first commercial live album by the band, which had previously performed live on the magazine release, 'The Masterwork' Award Winning Fish-Knife. It is also known as "The Upside-Down Violin", the only new composition on the album, and the working title, Breaking the Rules, made it into many computer sales systems. The album's cover and booklet were designed by Dave McKean. Liner notes are by David Toop. Early printings of the album cover listed the first three tracks erroneously as "Queen of the Night", "An Eye for Optical Theory", and "Chasing Sheep Is Best Left to Shepherds"

Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs is a 1991 opera by Michael Nyman that began as an opera-ballet titled La Princesse de Milan choreographed by Karine Saporta. The libretto is William Shakespeare's The Tempest, as abridged by the composer. The title is derived from Caliban's line, "This isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, which give delight and hurt not." It premiered in June 1991 in Hérouville-Saint-Clair, Calvados, France, with the L'Ensemble de Basse-Normandie conducted by Dominique Debart. Three members of Saporta's dance company provided the singing.

<i>The Essential Michael Nyman Band</i> 1992 studio album by Michael Nyman

The Essential Michael Nyman Band is a studio album featuring a collection of music by Michael Nyman written for the films of Peter Greenaway and newly performed by the Michael Nyman Band. It is the seventeenth album release by Nyman. The album features liner notes by Annette Morreau, who describes the album as "a summation and digest of ten years of progress in the performance of music by a composer -- a composer with whom, so evidently, a group of friends and expert musicians intimately identify their total commitment, virtuosity, and joyous enthusiasm."

<i>The Kiss and Other Movements</i> 1985 studio album by Michael Nyman

The Kiss and Other Movements is the sixth album release by Michael Nyman, and the fifth recording with the Michael Nyman Band. The title track is an "operatic duet" between Dagmar Krause and Omar Ebrahim, based on a painting of the same title by Paul Richards, which is depicted on the cover, and used in a video art project by Richards of the same name. The album includes music from Peter Greenaway's Making a Splash and 26 Bathrooms, an excerpt of Nyman's unfinished opera, Tristram Shandy, and a concert piece, "Tango Between the Lines".

<i>After Extra Time</i> (album) 1996 studio album by Michael Nyman

After Extra Time is a 1996 album by Michael Nyman with the Michael Nyman Band containing three tributes to Nyman's fandom of Association football: After Extra Time, the soundtrack to The Final Score, and Memorial. The latter is described as a remix, but is simply the 1992 recording from The Essential Michael Nyman Band. It was included in order to put it together with his two other football-inspired works. The album lists only three tracks, which has caused it to be erroneously reported that Memorial is track 3 and the others are all hidden tracks, but Memorial is track 26. Therefore, a track listing, as the individual portions of the pieces are not named, is not useful. The three pieces were recorded at separate times and thus have separate personnel lists.

<i>The Suit and the Photograph</i> 1998 studio album by Michael Nyman

The Suit and the Photograph is a 1998 album by Michael Nyman with the Michael Nyman Band, recorded in 1995. On this album, Nyman is the composer, conductor, and producer, and wrote the liner notes. The album contains two works, String Quartet No. 4 and 3 Quartets. The album is named for its cover photograph by August Sander, which Nyman had associated with the Michael Nyman Band since its inception in 1977. He cites a description of the photograph by John Berger, in an essay of the same title, describing that the suits deform the working class rural men just enough to "undermine physical dignity." Both of the pieces on the album originated in Japan. It is Nyman's second release on EMI and his 33rd in general, but is not designated part of a series, as EMI had done with Concertos. Said Nyman of EMI, "I didn't excite them, and they didn't excite me." Nyman's only further releases on EMI would be the UK edition of Ravenous, featuring remixes by William Orbit, and The Actors, both film scores.

<i>Mozart 252</i> 2008 studio album in tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Michael Nyman

Mozart 252 is a 2008 album by Michael Nyman with Michael Nyman Band, Hilary Summers, and Andrew Slater, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birth. Although "Revisiting the Don," one of only two newly written works on the album, was commissioned and performed in 2006, the album's title is a joke on its lateness as an album, released 252 years after Mozart's birth. The album also includes "In Re Don Giovanni," Nyman's first composition for the band, which is based on the first fifteen bars of "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" from Don Giovanni, six selections from Peter Greenaway's film, Drowning by Numbers, in which he was instructed to base the music on the slow movement of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante K. 364, and two duets and an aria from Nyman's television opera, Letters, Riddles and Writs, in this recording featuring bass Andrew Slater as Leopold Mozart and contralto Hilary Summers as Wolfgang.

<i>The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover</i> (soundtrack) 1989 soundtrack album from The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover by Michael Nyman

The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover is the twelfth album release by Michael Nyman and the ninth to feature the Michael Nyman Band. It is the soundtrack to the eponymous film by Peter Greenaway. The album includes the first commercially released recording of Memorial, and this is the only piece discussed in the liner notes, to the point that the lyric sheet for "Miserere", the song which Pup the kitchen boy sings, is misidentified "Memorial." "Book Depository" is one of Nyman's many waltzes.

<i>Six Celan Songs; The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi</i> 2006 studio album by Michael Nyman

Six Celan Songs • The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi is the 54th album released by Michael Nyman, who composed and conducted both the works on the album. The first, a setting of poetry by Paul Celan, was originally recorded by Ute Lemper and the Michael Nyman Band on The Michael Nyman Songbook in 1991, and here the band is joined by Hilary Summers. The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi is a new work created with the artist Mary Kelly. This is performed by the soprano Sarah Leonard with The Nyman Quartet: Gabrielle Lester, Catherine Thompson, Kate Musker and Tony Hinnigan.

<i>The Composers Cut Series Vol. II: Nyman/Greenaway Revisited</i> 2006 studio album by Michael Nyman

The Composer's Cut Series Vol. II: Nyman/Greenaway Revisited is the second in a series of albums, all released on the same day, by Michael Nyman to feature concert versions of film scores, in this case, films of Peter Greenaway, and his 52nd release overall. The album is similar to The Essential Michael Nyman Band, although a number of tracks are on only one album or the other. In spite of being recorded in 1992, with the same lineup, Memorial is not the same performance as the one that appears on The Essential Michael Nyman Band or After Extra Time, which was recorded in Tokyo. This performance was recorded in London and is slightly less aggressively performed.

<i>The Other Side of Abbey Road</i> 1970 studio album by George Benson

The Other Side of Abbey Road is a 1970 studio album by American guitarist George Benson of songs from the Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road. It was his last album for A&M Records. The front cover is a photograph of Benson by Eric Meola in E 53rd Street, Midtown East, New York City.

<i>Body Talk</i> (George Benson album) 1973 studio album by George Benson

Body Talk is a 1973 studio album by American guitarist George Benson, released on CTI Records.

<i>Homage to Count Basie</i> 2000 studio album by Bob Mintzer Big Band

Homage to Count Basie is an album by the Bob Mintzer Big Band that won the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2002.

Digital Duke is an album by Mercer Ellington and the Duke Ellington Orchestra that won the Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 1988.


  1. Allmusic review
  2. Michael Nyman. Time Will Pronounce liner notes. 1993. p. 10.
  3. Michael Nyman. Time Will Pronounce. Liner notes. p. 11