music drama, 1 act, 1957†, 39:23

Full score dated April 1957

Clytemnestra (soprano)
Cassandra (mezzo)
Agamemnon (ten)
Watchman (ten)
Herald (bass)
Old man (bass)
Citizens of Argos (SATB chorus)
4 flutes (1 also piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 4 bassoons (1 also contrabassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 3 timpani, bass drum, 3 side drums, tam-tam, tambourine, triangle, xylophone, glockenspiel, harp, strings (The 1973 Richard Armstrong performance also includes clash cymbals and suspended cymbal although these are not identified in Brian's own score)

Text: abridged and adapted by the composer from Blackie’s Everyman translation; in English, Aeschylus



Armstrong 1973


Agamemnon (1) – Textual analysis – Kate Baxter
Agamemnon (2) – Musical analysis and conclusion – Kate Baxter


28 January 1971 [first performance] St John’s, Smith Square, London
Valerie Hill (sop) Clytemnestra, Carole Rosen (mezzo) Cassandra, Richard Gandy (ten) Agamemnon/Watchman, George Macpherson (bass-bar) Herald/Old man, Opera dei Giovani, Kensington Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leslie Head
4 March 1973 Manchester Town Hall
16 June 1973 BBC Radio 3, repeated 20 August 1974
Milla Andrew (sop) Clytemnestra, Ann Howard (mezzo) Cassandra, William MacAlpine (ten) Agamemnon, John Dobson (ten) Watchman, Michael Rippon (bass) Herald, Dennis Wicks (bass) Old man, BBC Northern Singers, BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, conductor Richard Armstrong