Bad Angel Fire
performed by the Australian String Quartet (Sophie Rowell, Anne Horton, Sally Boud, Rachel Johnston) recorded by ABC Classic FM on 14th August 2011
Bad Angel Fire was composed in June 2011 for the Australian String Quartet, who gave the première during the 2011 National Composers Forum on the 14th August 2011 in Adelaide, South Australia.
The title is drawn from the second poem of The Passionate Pilgrim in its original (1599) publication:
Two loves I have, of comfort and despair,
That like two spirits do suggest me still;
My better angel is a man right fair,
My worser spirit a woman colour’d ill.
To win me soon to hell, my female evil
Tempteth my better angel from my side,
And would corrupt my saint to be a devil,
Wooing his purity with her fair pride.
And whether that my angel be turn’d fiend,
Suspect I may, yet not directly tell:
For being both to me, both to each friend,
I guess one angel in another’s hell;
The truth I shall not know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.