'An invigorating opener.'   The Independent

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)

Availability

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

Programme Notes

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

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 


‘Matthews exults in cunning references to contemporary musical fads, but his work has its own dynamic originality.’
The Daily Telegraph (Geoffrey Norris), 28 September 1992

 

'A big, brash and colourful orchestration of a chamber piece which has its cake and eats it by sending up the likes of Reich and Nyman along the way while at the same time relishing what it parodies...an invigorating opener.'
The Independent (Robert Maycock), 30 September 1992

Hidden Variables (orchestral version)

from concert on 12/03/2015

Sky Arts (United Kingdom)

London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas

Hidden Variables (orchestral version)

from concert on 12/03/2015

Sky Arts (United Kingdom)

London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas

Hidden Variables (orchestral version)

from concert on 12/03/2015

Sky Arts (United Kingdom)

London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas

Hidden Variables (orchestral version)

from concert on 12/03/2015

Sky Arts (United Kingdom)

London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas

Hidden Variables (orchestral version)

Davis Symphony Hall (San Francisco, USA)

London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas