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Blue Work


for orchestra

Year:  2019 Instrumentation:  3(1/p.2/p.3/afl) 2(1.2/ca) 3 2 | 4 3 3(1.2.btbn) 1 | timp+3 | str (PERC: roto-toms, timbales, brake drums, sus cymbal, vibraphone, tubular bells, snare drm, woodblock, tambourine, low tenor drum). See note *

Year:  2019
Instrumentation  3(1/p.2/p.3/afl) 2(1.2/ca) ...

Composer:   Tabea Squire

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-2, 4-5, 7-8 and 12-13 of score

See details ➔


Variations (2019) is written differently to the usual formula of pieces of that title, in that the Theme does not appear until the very end of the piece. The Theme in question is a Pavane from the Orchésographie by 'Thoinot Arbeau' (Jehan Tabourot, 1519 - 1595). This ardent love song, 'Belle qui tiens ma vie', is well-known even today, but the meaning of the words is not the focus of the Variations. Instead, the four-part harmony is deconstructed in various ways to provide material which is, at times, unrecognisable in its relation to the original. The original percussion line - an integral Pavane component - is another facet of variation within the work.

The sections within the work - variations and theme transformations named in the score - run as follows:

'Fanfare sur des Accords Thématiques' - Fanfare on Thematic Chords
'Thème Inversé Caché' - Hidden Inverted Theme
'Thème Inversé' - Inverted Theme
'Thème Secret' - Secret Theme
'Thème Négatif (noir et blanc)' - Negative Theme (black and white)
'Thème Manquant (avec variation précédent)' - Theme Missing (with previous variation)
'Le Retour de la Fanfare' - The Fanfare Returns
'Thème Déconstruit' - Deconstructed Theme
'Variation en Cycles' - Variation in Cycles
'Variation sur la Pédale' - Variation Over Pedal
'Et Enfin...' - And Finally...
'Le Thème' - The Theme

*The preferred instrumentation for the final statement of the theme is soprano recorder, two alto recorders, and alto flute. As these doublings do not suit all wind sections, alternative instrumentation of two piccolos, alto flute and cor anglais is also included. The recorders could be played by any willing player in the wind or brass, except for Fl. III (alto flute). The cor anglais and Flute I piccolo are only used if recorders are not.