Hidden Variables (orchestral version)

(1991)

Description
orchestra
Duration
13
Genres
Full Orchestra
Instrumentation
2.afl.2.ca.2.bcl.2 - 4230 - timp - perc(2): wdbl/3 susp.cym/cyms/BD+cym/hi-hat/glsp/vib/BD+foot ped/tam-t/flexatone/mar - pno(=elec keyboard ad.lib) - harp - strings (min 24[vln div in 3].8.8.6)
Commission
Orchestral transcription commissioned jointly by the London Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony for Michael Tilson Thomas
First Performance
12.9.92, Gstaad, Switzerland: London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
Availability

Score 0-571-51794-3 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes
Colin Matthews Hidden Variables for orchestra (1991) The original version of Hidden Variables, for 15 players was commissioned by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group with financial assistance from West Midlands Arts and the Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, and first performed by them, conducted by Peter Donohoe, in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham on 14 May 1989. This transcription for orchestra was commissioned jointly by the London Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony for Michael Tilson Thomas, who gave the first performance with the London Symphony Orchestra in Gstaad, Switzerland on 12 September 1992 and with the New World Symphony in Miami on 22 October 1992 Hidden Variables is recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas on Collins Classics CD14702 PROGRAMME NOTE The theory of hidden variables - largely rejected in the world of particle physics - is (to simplify it absurdly) an attempt to remove from quantum mechanics its inherent, and - to the layman - disturbing uncertainty. It would be pretentious in the extreme to try to mirror this in music. In this piece various styles, some more fashionable than others (including my own) collide and give rise to unexpected juxtapositions, and the title implies little more than that there is something going on beneath the surface. The form of the work is a 13-minute Scherzo, which consists of a set of interlocking variations, with an unvarying time signature (6/4) and same very fast tempo throughout. CM

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News & Reviews

'Hidden Variables (orchestral version)' reviews

‘Matthews dramatises the conflict between minimalism and modernism, caricatures the former quite mercilessly while hinting that he is not immune to its appeal, and confronts it with exuberant, almost derisive complexity. The piece has two climaxes: one pounding, brazen and vapidly minimal, the second driving, dissonant, appalled.’ Tempo (Michael Oliver), July 1996 Read more

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