De Aestibus Rerum was composed for the centenary of the University of Auckland in 1983, and received its first performance in November of that year. The title means ‘on the ebb and flow of things’ and the work is based on a number of distinctive rhythmic and timbral ideas which grow and recede. One hears fluidic patterns, clear octaves with coloured resonances, shimmerings and tremolos, bird-like calls and repeated notes which move frequently at different speeds. A feature of the work is the free open sounding passages marked ‘cadenzas’ for clarinet, violin, cello and horn. In two of these passages the instruments proceed independently of each other.
This work received first prize in the chamber music category of the International Horn Society Competition in 1984 and the work was subsequently performed at the International Horn Symposium, Detmold, Germany, in September 1986 by the Virginia Tech Ensemble.
De Aestibus Rerum was recorded by the Karlheinz Company in October 1984.