Underwater Music

for orchestra. Anthony Ritchie Opus 57

A colourful descriptive piece, imaginatively portraying seahorses, stingrays and dolphins.

Listen to performance from SOUNZ

Listen to performance from RNZ

Programme Note

The Auckland Sinfonietta requested a piece from me that adopted the theme of the sea. My title was partly motivated by the famous Handel precedent, but focusses on creatures who live in the sea.

The first movement is titled 'Seahorses' and captures the gently undulating movements of these small creatures. More dramatic gestures suggest the ebb and flow of the sea. The second movement is titled 'Sting rays' and the music suggests the slowly flapping motion of the rays. In the third movement, 'Dolphins', the orchestra presents an energetic theme, and the movement is full of strong, upward sweeping gestures. A piccolo solo in the middle section derives from the opening, and portrays a baby dolphin. The work ends with a blow from the dolphin's spout.

This commissioned work was first performed in 1994, and recorded for Concert FM under the baton of John Matheson.