Barbellion Fragments (2020-21)

Bruce Frederick Cummings (1889-1919) was a naturalist who ended up working as an entomologist at the Museum of Natural History in London. In November 1915, after being rejected as unfit for active service in the British Army, Cummings unintentionally found out his doctor had diagnosed him with a disease today known as multiple sclerosis. In his diaries, published under the pseudonym of W.N.P. Barbellion, he openly described both the physical and the mental suffering he went through.

Barbellion Fragments is a collection of eleven miniatures for baritone solo based on text fragments from The Journal of a Disappointed Man by W.N.P. Barbellion. In a highly fragmentary style, small glimpses are given of the mental and physical struggles a man with a progressive illness must endure. A piece about life, death and dealing with an inevitable fate.

List of works


    baritone solo


    ca. 8’

Text fragments

    W.N.P. Barbellion

Score sample