To Compose Without the Least Knowledge of Music


Mozart's Ein musikalisches Wurfelspiel (A Musical Dice Game), realized by Colin Matthews for wind sextet
Woodwind Ensemble
Commissioned by New MacNaughten Concerts
First Performance
(original version) 15.3.91, Blackheath Concert Halls, London: Composers Ensemble. First performance (revised version) 4.8.91, Theatre Concert Hall, Tanglewood: Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center

A4 score (fp) 0-571-55578-0, parts(fp) 0-571-56344-9 on sale

Programme Notes
Colin Matthews To Compose Without the Least Knowledge of Music... A realization of Ein musikalisches Wurfelspiel (A Musical Dice Game) ascribed to W A Mozart, K. 516f For wind sextet (1991) The rules of A Musical Dice Game – first published in 1793 and ascribed to Mozart as K. 516f (with more than a little likelihood of authenticity) – allow for the throw of the dice to determine the order of 176 bars of given musical material, so organized as to produce each time by chance a 16-bar waltz. Obviously the rules have to be strictly obeyed if the waltz is to come out right. Although I have obeyed the rule – except for the fact that I used randomly-generated numbers instead of throwing the dice 176 times to get my eleven variations - I’ve also applied further random operations in variations 4, 6, 8, 10 and 11; allowed for the dice to fall sixteen times in succession on “8” in variation 7; and subjected the instrumentation to chance in variation 10. The first performance was given in March 1991 in London by members of the Composers Ensemble. The U.S. premiere took place at Tanglewood Music Center in August 1991. Colin Matthews

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