The Tide of Time

(2000, revised 2001)

Duration: 12 minutes

Symphony Orchestra (3222.4331, hp, pno, perc. (2), timp., strings)

First performed by Bedford School First Orchestra, cond. Andrew Morris, 30 June 2000, Bedford School, Bedford
First performance of revised version: New Bristol Sinfonia/Jon James, Victoria Rooms, Bristol, 15.9.01

Listen to extracts of The Tide of Time (figure H – GG and LL – end) performed by New Bristol Sinfonia and conductor Jon James.

Programme Note

Much of the material for this piece comes from an abortive chamber opera that I had started in 1999. As with ‘Bedford Festival Overture’, the first half of the piece employs minimalist elements, in this case an alternation between the triads of E minor root position and G major 2nd inversion. With this figure as a backdrop, the music passes through a succession of passages contrasted in texture and mood, from the lyrical and delicate to the rhythmic and muscular, culminating in a crisis and disintegration. The second half of the piece is a set of variations on an irregularly phrased theme, with each variation employing its own individual combination of instruments. After the final climactic variation, the opening material returns and the piece evaporates in a tranquil ending. The title was suggested by the swells in the orchestration and the inevitable, relentless nature of the ostinato material.