Alphabicycle Order

Colin Matthews (1946)

Alphabicycle Order 2007

2222 - 4231 - timp - perc(3) - harp - pno - strings
Duration 
30
Solist 
Text Author 
Language 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

‘As soon as I read Christopher Reid’s collection of children’s poems Alphabicycle Order I wanted to set them to music. The poems play on words in, as you might expect, alphabetical order, ranging from the sinister (the menacing Vumpire, a cross between an umpire and a vampire) to absurd (the Umbrellaphant, half elephant, half umbrella) with plenty of room for humour, and a little sentiment thrown in for good measure. We meet with Cluckworth chickens, the newly discovered country of Eyeland, an Iciclist, the fabulous liarbird and the very superior Queen Bean. I’ve hugely enjoyed writing these 26 numbers, and hope they’ll be fun to sing, shout, play and also speak.’ Written for narrator, children’s chorus, and the Hallé, the work lasts around half an hour.

Colin Matthews

Performances 
11.7.07 Bridgewater Hall, Manchester: Henry Goodman/ Hallé Youth Choir/Hallé Orchestra/Edward Gardner
29.1.09 Bridewater Hall, Manchester: Sir John Tomlinson/Hallé Youth Choir/Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder
2
Flute
2nd doubling piccolo
2
Oboe
2nd doubling cor anglais
2
Clarinet
2nd bass clarinet
2
Bassoon
2nd doubling contrabassoon
4
Horn
2
Trumpet
3
Trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
3
Percussion
xylophone, vibraphone, 4 tom-tom, 4 cow bell, 2 Brake Drum, large woodblock, sizzle cymbal, vibraslap, castanets, slide flute, glockenspiel, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tam-tam, 4 bongos, switches, guiro, cabasa, chocola, tubo, friction bird-call, referee’s whistle. lion’s roar, side drum, suspended cymbal, claves, ratchet, waterphone, glass chimes, sleighbells, wind machine, yacht siren
1
Harp
1
Piano
(Esc)