Commissioned by the BBC for 70th anniversary concert of the BBC Symphony Orchestra

  • 2+pic+afl.2+ca.2+bcl.3/4430/5perc/hp.cel/man.gtr(amp)/str
  • 6 min

Programme Note

The musical character of Scherzi appears on the surface to be a continuous and unbroken stream of very quiet and effervescent fast music, that slowly emerges out of a strange 'fluttering' harmonic background. In fact it contains a plethora of different 'scherzi' like mechanisms, which throughout the composition are triggered into a system of cross cutting, collision and simultaneity (i.e. combining with one another), each one of them evolving and dissolving only to re-appear in a 'kaleidoscope' process of reshuffling. Eventually the pianissimo nature of the piece is violently shattered and gradually swallowed up by a powerful 'proliferating' melodic line, which draws the piece inexorably towards its conclusion.

Scherzi was commissioned by the BBC for the seventieth anniversary concert of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and was first performed at the Barbican, London, by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin on 22 October 2000.

Programme note © Simon Bainbridge