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Helter skelter : for orchestra

by Paul Stanhope (2003)

K-Secondary 2004 Education Program


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


K-Secondary 2004 Education Program / Sydney Symphony.

Library shelf no. CD 1332 [Not for loan]

Helter skelter


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Helter skelter : for orchestra / Paul Stanhope.

Library shelf no. Q 784.2/STA 11 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Helter Skelter was commissioned by Phillip and Phyllis Huthnance for the Sydney Symphony's Education Program in memory of their son Craig, and as a celebration of his life. Craig lived life to the full and was a young man of tremendous energy. He was a keen cricketer who played in District representative teams, State Indoor, Penrith grade, and first grade club cricket in the Penrith Nepean District. A reference to cricket shots can be heard in the percussion instruments in the beginning of the work.

The energetic nature of the piece was inspired by Craig. The music is sometimes cartoon-like, with short motives spinning around and being tossed from one part of the orchestra to the next (hence the title!). A central, more melodic section begins with a longer version of the melody in the violins. This builds to a tumbling version of the material in inverted and augmented form. A short reflective section gives space for solos from the cello, horn and cor anglais, and a moment or two to look back on Craig's life, before hurtling again headlong towards its energetic climax.

Work Details

Year: 2003

Instrumentation: 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets in B flat (2nd doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 2 trombones, bass trombone, timpani , percussion (2 players), piano, harp, strings (half the double basses should have C extensions if possible).

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional orchestra or high level youth orchestra

Dedication note: Dedicated to Craig Huthnance

Commission note: Commissioned by Phyllis Huthnance, Phillip Huthnance for performance by Sydney Symphony.. Commissioned for the Sydney Symphony's Education Program

First performance: by Sydney Symphony — Jan 04. Trackdown Studios, Sydney

Performances of this work

5 Jun 04: Eugene Goossens Hall, Ultimo, NSW. Featuring Sydney Symphony Sinfonia, Richard Gill.

Jan 04: Trackdown Studios, Sydney. Featuring Sydney Symphony.

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