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Panopticon (quartets: marimba, vibraphone, bass guitar, piano)

by David Chesworth (1979)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Streaming Audio

ABC Classic AMP

Listen online to a full-length recording of this work.
performed by David Chesworth Ensemble
Access to this recording is courtesy of the ABC's classic amp website.

Music to see through


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Panopticon : for marimba, vibes, piano, bass and improvising instruments / David Chesworth.

Library shelf no. 785.3814/CHE 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Panopticon was sketched out in my final year of undergraduate study at Latrobe University in 1979. Up to that point I had been exposed to a lot of music by experimental composers and the American minimalists but was now getting a sobering dose of late modernism via the European serialists. We had been studying Allen Forte's set theory in class which provided a way of analyzing non-tonal music by grouping notes which shared certain relationships into pitch class sets. I decided to apply his analytical ideas to the creation of a piece of music. When I'd sketched the piece out, I discovered that I had written music that made great use of fourths, fifths and octaves. This was quite different to the musical language we were studying at the time, which avoided consonant intervals like the plague and instead made great use of the more dissonant tritone and minor ninth intervals.

Work Details

Year: 1979

Instrumentation: Marimba, vibraphone, piano, bass guitar and optional improvising instruments.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by David Chesworth Ensemble — 1994. The Continental Cafe, Melbourne

Winner of Australian Music Centre/APRA Instrumental Work of the Year Award 2006.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2006 Classical Music Awards - Instrumental Work of the Year Winner David Chesworth


Program note: David Chesworth's "Panopticon"
program note by the composer

Performances of this work

1994: The Continental Cafe, Melbourne. Featuring David Chesworth Ensemble.

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