Hidden Variables

Colin Matthews (1946)

Hidden Variables 1991

2.afl.2.ca.2.bcl.2 - 4230 - timp - perc(2): wdbl/3 susp.cym/cyms/BD+cym/hi-hat/glsp/vib/BD+foot ped/tam-t/flexatone/mar - pno(=elec keyboard ad.lib) - harp - strings (min 24[vln div in 3].8.8.6)
Duration 
13
Genre 
Publisher 

The theory of hidden variables - largely rejected in the world of particle physics - is (to simplify it absurdly) an attempt to remove from quantum mechanics its inherent, and - to the layman - disturbing uncertainty. It would be pretentious in the extreme to try to mirror this in music. In this piece various styles, some more fashionable than others (including my own) collide and give rise to unexpected juxtapositions, and the title implies little more than that there is something going on beneath the surface. The form of the work is a 13-minute Scherzo, which consists of a set of interlocking variations, with an unvarying time signature (6/4) and same very fast tempo throughout.

CM

Comments 

The original version of Hidden Variables, for 15 players was commissioned by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Performances 
12.9.92, Gstaad, Switzerland: London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
14-23.9.92 European tour of Germany, Austria, Italy: London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
24.9.92 Barbican Hall, London: London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
22/24/25.10.92 Miami, USA: New World Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
27/28.2.98 Toledo, Ohio, USA: Toledo Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Massey
22.1.04 St David's Hall, Cardiff: BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Jac van Steen
20.3.04 Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Markus Stenz
10.3.06 BBC Maida Vale, London: BBC Symphony Orchestra/John StorgÄrds
1.10.10 Verona, Italy: Orchestra Arena di Verona
12.3.15 Barbican Hall, London: London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
23.3.15 Davies Hall, San Francisco: London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
3
Flute
3rd alto flute
3
Oboe
3rd cor anglais
3
Clarinet
3rd bass clarinet
2
Bassoon
4
Horn
2
Trumpet
3
Trombone
1
Timpani
2
Percussion
woodblock, 3 suspended cymbals, cymbals, bass drum plus cymbal, hi-hat, glockenspiel, vibraphone, bass drum with foot pedal, tam-tam, flexatone, maracas
12
Violin
12
Violin II
8
Viola
8
Cello
6
Double bass
1
Harp
1
Piano
doubling electric keyboard ad. lib
(Esc)