Four Perpetual Motions


chamber ensemble of 10 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Instrumentation - tpt - perc(1): vib/mar/glsp/crot/2 bongos - harp - vln.vla.vlc.db

Tom Coult was one of the winners of the 2012 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize and was consequently commissioned to write this work for the Philharmonia Music of Today Series.

First Performance
27.6.2013, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK: Members of Philharmonia Orchestra/Rüdiger Böhn

Score 0571539092 on sale and parts for hire

Programme Notes

i. Canon a 3 ii. Alla ottava iii. Per augmentationem et diminutionem iv. In modulatione descendente (Berceuse) This piece is essentially a suite of fantastical miniatures – four short, contrasting character pieces that aim for a sense of charm and delight in their abstract playfulness. They are described as ‘perpetual motions’ because they all have certain ways of moving – each piece acts like a machine with certain rules in harmony, melody and rhythm. The first movement, a three-part canon and the only true moto perpetuo, starts as a mechanical process for plucked and struck instruments but opens out into more melodic material and florid arabesques. The second begins with austere parallel octaves but gradually embraces harmony and flowers into more a more sensuous sound. Over the course of the third movement, slow material gradually speeds up while fast material slows down – until they have swapped places by the end. The final movement is a lilting Berceuse, gradually modulating downwards with intricate decoration towards its tolling conclusion.

Licensing Information

News & Reviews

Site Search

Newsletter sign-up

Submit your email address here to receive the latest news and special offers from Faber Music

Score Availability

It is possible in certain circumstances to purchase some scores direct from the Hire Library, even if advertised as available only for hire.

Please Contact the Hire Library:
Tel: +44 (0)1279 828907 / 8

Take a look

Oliver Knussen

One of the great composer-conductors of our time, Oliver Knussen created a body of work characterised by its...

read more