Body Mandala


by Jonathan Harvey

Orchestral, Full Orchestra
3(III=picc).4.3(III=bcl).3(III=cbsn) - 4.4(I=ptpt).2 ttrbn. 2btrbn.1 - harp - pno - perc(5): 2BD/crot/ t.bells/3 susp.cym/tam-t/4 prs tibetan.cym/2 tibetan bells/2 t.bell/c.bell/3 wdbl/2 bamboo clusters/1timp (please see note on percussion distribution on score) - harp - pno - strings:(1st vlns.2nd vlns.8 vlc.6 db) NB no violas
Commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
First Performance
15.3.07, City Halls, Glasgow, UK: BBC SSO/Ilan Volkov

Score on sale 0-571-51849-4, parts for hire

Programme Notes
The score is headed "...reside in the mandala, the celestial mansion, which is the nature of the purified gross body". I was in North India recently where I witnessed purification rituals in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. This work is influenced by those experiences. The famous low horns, tungchens, the magnificently raucous 4-note oboes, gelings, the distinctive rolmo cymbals - all these and more were played by the monks in deeply moving ceremonies full of lama dances, chanting and ritual actions. There is a fierce wildness about some of the purifications, as if great energy is needed to purge the bad ego-tendencies. But also great exhilaration is present. And calm. The body, when moved with chanting, begins to vibrate and warm at different chakra points and 'sing' internally. As it were, 'lit up' with sound. Jonathan Harvey

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