A First Book of Inventions

Ryan Wigglesworth (1979)

A First Book of Inventions 2010

pic(fl).1.2.2.1.cbsn-2.2.0.0-str(12-14.10-12.8-10.6-8.4-6)
Duration 
9
Genre 
Publisher 

The two principal ideas behind my piece are, firstly, perpetuum mobile, or continuous movement, and secondly, the elaboration of a basic one- or two-part texture. Each of the seven 'inventions' that comprise the unbroken 9-minute span of the work are founded on a regular pulse, a pulse that sometimes forms stable ostinati that run for the entire length of a section, or on other occasions provokes a highly varied and constantly shifting pattern of melodic events. The seven sections can very briefly be described thus: 1) an active, miniature 'theme and variations'; 2) the juxtaposition of various fragmentary two-part inventions; 3) a tremolo string ostinato with woodwind interjections, building towards the first climax; 4) an ostinato passing between horns and muted trumpets together with a dialogue for high woodwind and low strings; 5) a very slow canon for string harmonics and pizzicato double basses; 6) a fast, one-part invention beginning with solo piccolo, and gradually leading to the second climax; 7) chorale.

The work is scored for a modestly-sized orchestra of double woodwind, two horns, two trumpets and strings, and was written for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ryan Wigglesworth

Performances 
18.11.10 Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra / Ryan Wigglesworth
28.2.13 St John's Waterloo, London: Southbank Sinfonia / Ryan Wigglesworth
6.2.14 Sage Gateshead: Royal Northern Sinfonia / Ryan Wigglesworth
21/23.3.14 The Hague, Netherlands: Het Residentie Orkest / Ryan Wigglesworth
1.6.14 Rose Theater, New York: Orchestra of St. Luke's / Pablo Heras-Casado
2
Flute
2nd piccolo doubling flute
2
Oboe
2
Clarinet
2
Bassoon
2nd contrabassoon
2
Horn
2
Trumpet
14
Violin
12
Violin II
10
Viola
8
Cello
6
Double bass
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