‘Scintillating.‘  Gramophone


scrt.rcrt.4 solo crt.4 crt.3 hn.2 bar.2 trbn.btrbn 2 euph.2 tuba(Eb).2 tuba(BBb) - perc (3): 2 timp/tam-t/2 susp.cym/cyms/xyl/(mar)/t.bells/glsp/SD/BD/tgl


Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Altitude was written in the summer of 1977, at the request of Elgar Howarth. The music portrays an imaginary fight at an extreme height – cold, solitary, tranquil, and yet swift and mobile. The form is roughly as follows:- (i) A fast, but harmonically static opening section, with a long melody in the tubas; (ii) A slower, more flowing section, beginning with a descending theme played by a solo cornet; (iii) Tense development of previous material, culminating in a full fortissimo statement of the cornet’s theme. (iv) A long, gradual crescendo superimposing several layers of texture, and building up to a climax in which the opening theme appears augmented in the trombones and tubas; (v) Final appearance of the cornet’s theme; (vi) Repeat of the beginning (with alterations in orchestration) converging on a single note (D) and disappearing in a flash.

George Benjamin


+ live broadcast

Royal Albert Hall (London, United Kingdom)

National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain/National Youth Brass Band/Bramwell Tovey


Snape Maltings Concert Hall (Snape, Suffolk, United Kingdom)

National Youth Brass Band/Bramwell Tovey


St Michael's Church (Beccles, Suffolk, United Kingdom)

National Youth Brass Band


BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)


Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, United Kingdom)

Bramwell Tovey/Foden’s [Richardson] Band