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Sheet Music: Score

Continuum : for orchestra / by Stephen Holgate.

by Stephen Holgate (1984)

  • Purchase Price: $65.45 (Usually ships in 3-8 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: 784.2/HOL 6 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: 2 flutes (one doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (one doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 percussion, strings, (no trombones).
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Richard Mills from the CD Tower of the spirit


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Continuum is a single-movement work in three sections. The first and last sections use a more conventional and what could be termed 'macro' harmonic and melodic language with dramatic use of a large percussion section. The central section of the work transitions into the 'micro' or interior level of sound itself - integrating the composer's interest in the so-called 'spectral' music of French composers Tristan Murail and Gerard Grisey (who were presenters at the 1980 Darmstadt International Summerschool of New Music in Germany, attended by Holgate). In this section, complex acoustic phenomena such as the overtone spectra, modulation, filters, formants etc (which determine natural sound colour or timbre) are orchestrated or synthesized by acoustic instruments to create a dynamic web of evolving textures and sonic clusters, frequently fused together by the use of percussion and woodwind multiphonics. Musically, the work is then a 'continuum' between the macro and micro worlds of sound as well as suggesting an analogy with life itself, which is continually in transition from birth, through growth, assimilation and conflict to death.

Continuum was Stephen Holgate's first orchestral work, composed whilst a Fellowship participant in the 1984 National Young Composers' School - jointly sponsored by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Music Board of the Australia Council.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (27p. -- A3 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — woodwind multiphonics in places; graduated dynamics markings; detailed percussion;

Duration: 13 min.

Commissioned with funds provided by Australia Council. Music Board, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

First performance by ABC Sinfonia, Wilfred Lehmann — 19 May 84. ABC studios Chatswood, Sydney.

"This piece was written for the 1984 Young Composers' School, a project of the Music Board of the Australia Council and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation." -- T.p. verso.

Includes performance instructions.

The composer notes the following styles, influences, genres, themes, etc. associated with this work:
sound synthesis; percussion; Gerard Grisey; Tristan Murail; Conyngham; colour; timbre; harmony; mysterious melody.

Continuum was included in the SSO’s “Meet the Music” series in the Sydney Opera House and Newcastle in May 1987. The 13 May performance was broadcast nationally on ABC-FM 13/5/1987 (direct to air broadcast), 27/7/1987 and 12/9/1987 including an on-stage interview between the composer and John Hopkins. An educational Teaching Kit including cassette recording and interview with Stephen Holgate and conductor Richard Mills was prepared by Brett Johnson (Education Officer, SSO) for students attending the 1987 "Meet the Music" concert.

This is a handwritten edition — it is not typeset.

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Tower of the spirit
CD: Tower of the spirit / Stephen Holgate.

Parts: Continuum : for orchestra / by Stephen Holgate.


- Browse other works for Full orchestra

- Browse other works by Stephen Holgate

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