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piano and chamber ensemble of 10 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble, Solo Instrument with Ensemble, Piano
cl.bsax – tpt.trbn.tuba – perc(1): timp/crot/3 rototoms/5 tuned tpl.bl/2 wood drum/log drum/talking drum/wood chimes/hi-hat/tam-t/anvil/pedal BD/2 stones/foam – pno – 3 vln.db (all string instruments and clarinet need amplification, bass requires a contact microphone)

Commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), London Sinfonietta and Ensemble Modern with financial assistance from the Arts Council of England and the following Sound Investors through the BCMG Sound Investment scheme:

Kiaran Asthana John and Caroline Harding
Sneakers Ivory Barracuda Barracuda Barracuda Sneakers Sneakers Barracuda Barracuda Ivory Ivory Sneakers Barracuda Ivory Ivory Sneakers Lawrence Bacon and Jean Scott      (in recognition of the work of BCMG)
     (in celebration of the birth of Lucy) Jim Hawkins
John Buckby Dennis Jones
Sally Carewe Michael Squires
Peter Fell Gabrielle Stanley and Christopher Walsh
Anne and David Fisk Anne Thompson
Osvaldo Golijov Bart Veer
John and Sarah Goodband Alan Woodfield
Nigel Goulty Philippa Wright


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First Performance
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Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

The work is scored for solo piano and an ensemble of ten players, comprising clarinet, baritone saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, 3 violins and double bass.  It is in two movements.  The first was originally entitled Study for a Coda, and casts the pianist in the deliberately restricted role of musical director, with a semi-soloistic continuo part.  The soloist is released, and claims centre stage, at the beginning of the second movement.  This has two parts: firstly, a slow ciacconetta, which runs through six divisions upon a seven-bar chord sequence announced by the piano; secondly, a fast brawl in a tonality discovered by an unexpected resolution of the last cycle of the ciacconetta.  The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians describes the mediaeval English dance which this section might evoke (from the French branle) as a form of round-dance: “the linked dancers. . . face inwards to the centre of an arc, or a full circle, moving sideways to the left and the right”.

Thomas Adès

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