Universal Edition - David Sawer – Rumpelstiltskin Suite

David Sawer

David Sawer
Rumpelstiltskin Suite

Year of composition: 2011
Scored for: for ensemble
Composer: David Sawer
Instrumentation: 1 1 2 1 - 1 1 0 1 - hp, vln, vla, vc, cb
Instrumentation details:
flute (+picc)
oboe (+c.a)
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb))
horn in F
trumpet in C
double bass
Commissioned by: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG)
Duration: 25′
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Audio Excerpt

Rumpelstiltskin Suite

World Première

Location: Wigmore Hall London / Great Britain
Date: 06.04.2013
Orchestra: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Conductor: George Benjamin


The Times called Sawer’s Rumpelstiltskin “a tour de force”. He has now created a concert suite from the ballet for BCMG. “The wordless reworking of a fairy tale classic makes its timely message more alarming than ever. Sawer's score is a rich broth... from the ever-darkening timbre of the alchemy music to the expansive horn solo, the brittle syncopated wedding music, mocking flute and stuttering speech rhythms, Sawer tightens his score with unerring focus.” (The Independent)

“It was typical of Benjamin’s modesty that he should pack his celebratory day with other composers’ works as well as his own; another offering was the premiere of David Sawer’s Rumpelstiltskin Suite. Like Antonioni, Sawer specialises in original textures and aural transparency; I have never heard a harp sound so cavernously metallic, nor would I have imagined that a group of assorted woodwind instruments could so vividly evoke a peal of bells.” – Michael Church, The Independent

“Rumpelstiltskin, on the evidence of this suite – about a third of the whole ballet – is a score like Benjamin’s that captures the essence of its narrative through instrumental sonorities: wonderful tone-images of the spinning of straw into gold, of wedding bells magically rung by high woodwind, of the grotesque Rumpelstiltskin himself on thudding tuba. Sawer is evidently a composer with a flair for pictures in sound, and though this is a long suite (most of 30 minutes) it never flagged for an instant.” – Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk

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study score - Rumpelstiltskin Suite

Rumpelstiltskin Suite
  • for ensemble
  • Edition type: study score

1 Ensemble that has played this work:

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