Sir Harrison Birtwistle: For O, for O, the Hobby-Horse is Forgot

Sir Harrison Birtwistle For O, for O, the Hobby-Horse is Forgot
For O, for O, the Hobby-Horse is Forgot

Sir Harrison Birtwistle: For O, for O, the Hobby-Horse is Forgot

Year of composition:
1976
Subtitle:
Ceremony
Scored for:
for 6 percussionists
Composer:
Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Table of contents:
For o, for o, the hobbyhorse is forgot - Ceremony for six percussionists
Commission:
Commissioned by Les Percussions de Strasbourg
Duration:
20’20”
Dedication:
Dedicated to Andrew Rosner
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Audiosamples

For O, for O, the Hobby-Horse is Forgot
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Work introduction

The name of this piece is a quote from Act III, Scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet; as so often with Birtwistle, elements of instrumental music theatre are prominent – no wonder, then, that he subtitled the work “A Ceremony for Six Percussionists:”

Two of the percussionists, as it were playing the roles of the King and the Queen, are positioned at either side of the stage, separate from the other four musicians, who appear as a group. The King and the Queen are the guides through the performance; their theatrical aspect is reinforced by the way the sticks are used to play the instruments.

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World première

Location:
Tokyo
Date:
10.02.1978
Orchestra:
Les Percussions de Strasbourg

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