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13 - Theme and Variations

for organ and orchestra

Year:  2012 Instrumentation:  3*(picc., a.fl)3*(ca)3**(Eb,*; 4331; timp., perc.(2); organ, hp; str | (Perc: bs.dr, sn.dr, tamb., cym., susp.cym., tam-tam, f.cym., ratchet, xylo., crot., tubular bells)

Year:  2012
Instrumentation  3*(picc., a.fl)3*(ca)3**(Eb...

Composer:   Anthony Young

Films, Audio & Samples

Anthony Young: 13 - Theme a...

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Sample Score

Sample: theme, and first page of each variation

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13 was inspired by the Renaissance art I saw while studying and travelling in Italy in 2009 – 10. I was taken with the bold depictions of martyrs with the attributes of their lives and deaths.

13 is a set of 13 variations on a theme first presented by the organ. Each variation is based on one of the thirteen present at the Last Supper. The details of their lives are often sketchy, and sometimes sit somewhere between fact and legend. The order is as follows:

Var. I St Simon Zealotes - Revolutionary; went to Armenia and Persia; sawn in half
Var. II St Thomas - Doubted Christ’s wounds; went to India; pierced with lance
Var. III St Philip - Sober-minded; went to Greece and Phrygia; crucified upside-down
Var. IV St Bartholomew - Honest; went to Armenia; flayed alive.
Var. V St Jude Thaddeus - Farmer; went to Syria and Armenia; clubbed to death.
Var. VI Judas Escariot - The betrayer; eternally punished; hung himself.
Var. VII St James the Great - Fiery temper; ‘Son of Thunder’; Judaea; beheaded.
Var. VIII St James the Less - Brother of Christ; Jerusalem and went to Egypt; thrown off temple.
Var. IX St Matthew - Tax collector; accompanied by an angel; Ethiopia and Persia; martyr.
Var. X St Andrew - The first-called; went to Ukraine and Black Sea; crucified on saltire.
Var. XI St John - Author of Revelations; ‘Son of Thunder’; went to Asia Minor; died of old-age.
Var. XII St Peter - Holder of the keys to the Gates of Heaven; went to Rome; crucified upside-down.
Var. XIII Apotheosis

Commissioned note

Written as part of the Auckland Philharmonia Composer Development project 2012/13

Performance history

23 May 2013: Organ Spectacular