snapshot of score of Return of the Son of the Bebop Variations

Return of the Son of the Bebop Variations

for chamber orchestra with drumkit — 2012

A spin-off of a spin-off of a spin-off of Bebop...

When I composed Son of the Bebop Variations in 1992 it occurred to me that it might work well in an arrangement for some sort of chamber ensemble. It took me a mere twenty years to get round to it, but finally in 2011/12 I arranged it for a ‘one of each’ chamber orchestra with an added drumkit. It’s a very literal arrangement — almost a transcription — which, like its predecessor, lasts 15 minutes. One important difference is that whereas Son of the Bebop Variations had highly virtuosic trumpet and trombone solo parts, those are now distributed along with the material from the tape among all the players. From the original I preserved only the quasi-jazz solos for trumpet and trombone in a section marked ‘sleazy’ about two thirds of the way through the piece.

I was careful to use the designation ‘for chamber orchestra with drumkit’ rather than ‘for drumkit and chamber orchestra’ because the drumkit is not intended to be a solo part in any concertante sense (I would envisage the player being at the back of the platform with the other percussionist, not out in front), although it did end up assuming a certain prominence and is a distinctive feature of the piece.

Score extract (PDF)


Performances / broadcasts / ‘real’ recordings

Listen to MIDI version (15:00)