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Birtwistle, Harrison: Exody (1997) 28'
for orchestra


3(II=picc,III=picc,afl).3(III=corA).3(I=Ebcl,II=bcl,III=dbcl).ssax.asax.3(III=dbn)- t.bells/guiro(lg)/tamb/bowed cym/tam-t(lg)/nipple gong(lg)/bell tree/tgl/Chin.dr(hi)/wdbl(sm)/ 5bongos/5tom-t/glsp/5wdbl/5"salmon reel/xyl/vib/BD(lg)/claves/hi-hat/slapstick-2harps- digital kbd (with 'electric piano' stop)-strings
NB: Flutes 2 and 3 also need pitch pipes, which are supplied with the hire materials. The keyboard should be a touch sensitive model with full piano range such as the Yamaha Clavinova CLP 1215. The internal speakers will not be adequate and therefore the sound should be amplified further. The players should sit in a position suitable to cue the harps.

Abbreviations (PDF)


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

Symphony Hall, Chicago
Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Barenboim

Press Quotes

"...a wonderful, important new piece, music one will wish to return to again and again, always with a sense of renewal no less keen than that governing its richly imagined unfolding of idea and gesture."
Chicago Tribune 

"It is an imposing, many-layered work in a 30-minute, single movement span that is richly scored and full of vividly imagined incident... Like so many of Birtwistle's finest achievements, Exody is a law unto itself. The title, Greek derived, sets up all kinds of resonances: it can refer to an act of leaving, to a ritual that surrounds a departure, or to the search for a way out, perhaps from a labyrinth. There's a subtitle too, 23:59:59, and this reference to the second before midnight, perhaps to the last moment before a new millenium, offers yet another perspective on the journey that Birtwistle's music undertakes. The whole action can be regarded as being compressed into a single moment of time, as it travels through a musical landscape that offers all kinds of alternative paths that cross and recross each other, so that the landmarks along the way constantly reappear from different perspectives."
The Guardian

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