Instrumentation

2 vla.3 vlc.2 db

Availability

Score 0571515789 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes

This transcription of Upon Silence for modern strings was commissioned in 1991 by the Opéra Bastille. Viols have six strings, modern instruments only four, hence the required seven players (two violas, three ‘cellos and two double-basses) instead of the previous five. I have attempted to recapture the magic sonority of viols by exploiting various unusual performing techniques. Occasionally an extra line has been added, and here and there the lower octave of the double-basses is used to add increased depth to the texture. The core of the work however - the melismatic vocal line - remains unchanged.

© George Benjamin

Upon Silence

Persons Auditorium (Marlboro, VT, USA)

Musicians from Marlboro Festival, Vermont