Commissioned by the London Philharmonic Orchestra

World Premiere:12.10.2011, Chemnitz: Robert Schumann Philharmonie Chemnitz, Frank Beermann

Wouivre is a celtic expression which has at least four meanings:

1)A snake that glides

2)A river that snakes through the landscape

3)A telluric current that snakes underground enriching both earth and mankind, and finally

4)Currents that are termed cosmic or magnetic and which encompass everything.

Throughout the four movements of Wouivres there is one harmonic progression. This goes through numerous variations in each movement, and in each case at the point of climax appears in a new musical context: a different view of the same progression in fact. The route to this new context is through the use of a tone-row which is slightly altered in each movement, and is combined with new material. Formally, we have four movements in an almost symphonic design. While the first movement is introductory, the second and third are slow and fast respectively. The fourth movement recapitulates the former three in retrograde, and so gives another meaning to the ever-present idea of changing, but still being the same.