Inspired by William Fairbank’s installation in Lincoln Cathedral entitled Forest Stations, I have composed this new work for solo piano depicting the process of Christ’s spiritual, emotional and corporeal journey, accompanying His path to Crucifxion.
The composition takes the form of 17 small movements and is characterised its palette of sustained chords and melodic fragments which are intended as moments for refection and prayer.
The work is also intended as a prompt to refection on the relationship of the individual to both a society and a state which are not only capable of 'looking away' but also of allowing suffering. This theme is of truly vital relevance to us today.
The titles of Stations I – XV are taken from each of the Forest Stations with kind permission from the artist.
It was premiered by the composer on 18th April 2017 in the Chapter House at Lincoln Cathedral, as part of a solo piano tour generously supported by Arts Council England.
The work is dedicated to Thomas Zeitler.
“Simon Vincent’s ‘Stations of the Cross’ comprises 17 short, slow movements, inspired by a visit to Jerusalem and by William Fairbanks’ wood sculptures in Lincoln Cathedral. Vincent’s vision resonates with Messiaen’s contemplations of the Divine while using his own musical vocabulary. All movements are projected by the composer with the utmost concentration: when Jesus falls for the second time (Station VII), it is as if we observe the event objectively, frozen in time. The use of silence recalls the music of Morton Feldman: spaces between notes bristle with energy and potential, as relationships between the individual and the collective are explored. The ‘Meditations’ act as a vital part of the experience, an exploration of the power of chordal structures. An immersive experience, deeper than its duration might imply.”