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Sheet Music: Score

Descent : Metropolis: the workers' view, for film projection and orchestra / Carl Vine.

by Carl Vine (1996)

  • Sales Availability: This item is not available to customers outside Australia and New Zealand.
    Please contact Faber Music for all sales enquiries.
  • Library Availability: 784.2/VIN 3 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: 2 flutes (2nd doubling alto flute and piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets in B flat (2nd doubling bass clarinet), bassoon, contra-bassoon, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, tenor trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players), harp, strings.


This item is not available to customers outside Australia and New Zealand.
Please contact Faber Music for all sales enquiries.

Product details

To close their 1996 "Metropolis" concert season, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra asked me to create a musical event that incorporated elements of Fritz Lang's classic silent film. The film details a massive city of the future ruled by an elite master-class but fuelled by the down-trodden and mistreated Workers living deep beneath the surface. By eliminating all reference to the 'rulers' and with some ruthless editing, I was able to reduce the two hour original to an 11 minute film that is Metropolis seen solely "from the Workers' viewpoint".

Just as in the original, events in the Workers' lives occur without much logic or consistency, and when they revolt against their tyrannical oppression the result seems even more mindless and destructive for not seeing the brutality which has caused it.

Having devised the film edit "on paper", I then wrote music to accompany the theoretical scenario. A synthesized version of the music was then used to create the final edit, with the film being cut to match the music. A click-track was added to the film so a conductor could coordinate the orchestra to the film projected during a concert performance.

The finished work is called Descent not just because the Workers live deep beneath the city, but also because of the relentless darkness of their lives. Their one ray of light turns out to be a chimera, and the only time in their lives they rise to the surface of the city it is with the sole intention of destroying everything in their path. Although their journey is one of ascension, as they near their goal they are overtaken by the lowest human instincts of anger, hate and retribution. As their bodies rise, their spirits are in hopeless descent.

Published by: Faber Music [0571518559] — 1 score (47p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.

Duration: 11 mins

Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

First performance by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, David Stanhope — 28 Nov 96. Melbourne Town hall

Includes program note.

Typeset edition.

ISBN: 0571518559

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Standard Australian orchestral repertoire.
CD: Standard Australian orchestral repertoire.


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