Codex (Homage to Serafini)

Tom Coult (1988)

Codex (Homage to Serafini) 2013

3333 - 4331 - timp - perc(3) - harp - strings (14.12.10.8.6)
Duration 
12
Genre 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

Luigi Serafini is an eccentric Italian artist whose major work, the Codex Seraphinianus, is a compendium of imaginary animals, landscapes, buildings, fauna and inventions – each illustration meticulously annotated in a made-up script, as if we had come across a systematic encylopaedia from a world that doesn’t exist. The fantastical inventions include trees uprooting from the ground and swimming into the sea, circular fish that skim across the water like frisbees, men whose eight faces spin round like weather-vanes, and elaborate helicopter-like machines for shooting rainbows through the sky. Serafini’s goal – to create something imaginative, fantastical and beautiful yet essentially meaningless – is one that I identify with as a composer. Like one of Serafini’s illustrations, then, my piece has no discernible function except to hopefully charm and beguile the listener. The piece was commissioned by Sound and Music as part of an ‘Embedded’ residency with BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Tom Coult

Performances 
14.11.13 BBC Maida Vale, London: BBC Symphony Orchestra/Garry Walker
3
Flute
3rd doubling piccolo
3
Oboe
3rd doubling cor anglais
3
Clarinet
2nd doubling Eb clarinet, 3rd doubling bass clarinet
3
Bassoon
3rd doubling contrabassoon
4
Horn
3
Trumpet
3
Trombone
3rd bass trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
3
Percussion
bass drum, vibraphone, 2 temple block, tam-tam, snare drum, 2 suspended cymbals, whip, tam-tam, crotales, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel
14
Violin
12
Violin II
10
Viola
8
Cello
6
Double bass
1
Harp
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