picc.2(II=picc).2.ca.2.bcl.2.cbsn - 4.ptpt.2.3.0 - perc(4): BD/crot/t.bells/4 susp.cym/mar/gong/glsp/TD/vib/tam-t/timp - harp - pno - synth(yamaha DX7(II)D or F-D) - strings(vln=3 equal parts: min 8.8.8) Extra groups: 20 recorders: 10 sopraninos (3=garklein).10 descant(3=garklein): 7 steel drum: brass: 4 hn.4 trbn.3 tpt.ptpt - choir (approx 60 - 100 children's voices)- perc:(min 10) 6 pairs of claves/4 pair large cyms
Score 0-571-51005-1 on sale, parts for hire
The forces used in this short work are huge – a full symphony orchestra, a large group of recorders, extra brass and percussion, a steel drum ensemble, a powerful synthesizer and children’s chorus. The atmosphere of the piece, however, is above all one of meditation, and the vast forces are employed rather as a wide palette of instrumental colour than for massed effects. The piece progresses as a processional, setting off in darkness with percussive pulses and swooping synthesizer glissandi. One by one the extra groups of players enter – the steel drums acting as a “gamelan”, the chorus chanting sol-fa, virtuoso recorder flourishes and antiphonal brass calls. As the instrumental forces accumulate the piece builds towards a radiant conclusion.
© George Benjamin