SIR PETER MAXWELL DAVIES

The Spiders’ Revenge

Music-theatre work for young performers

1991

25 minutes

opus

148

Dedication

Commissioned by

 

 

 

Scoring

Cast
Two Children
Spiders
Caterpillars
Snails
Blackbirds
Dragonflies
Pond Creatures
Bees
Queen Bee
Ladybirds

The Instruments

An ensemble of ten players would be sufficient, with the parts distributed as follows:
3 pitched percussion players
3 unpitched percussion players
3 recorder players
1 keyboard player (probably a teacher)
Pitched percussion:
There are three simple parts which may be allocated to any combination of glockenspiels, xylophones or chime bars. At the entrance of the Queen Bee, a bass instrument is indicated in the score; this might be bass xylophone, bass metallophone or electric keyboard.
Unpitched percussion
(the following instruments are indicated and may be divided between 3 players):
tambourine, cymbal, bass drum, side drum
wood block, claves, castanets, guero
sleigh bells, gong, 2 large pebbles struck together, 4 thick glass tumblers struck with a teaspoon
The parts are very straightforward, containing simple, repeated, rhythmic patterns.
b>Guitar
Guitar chords are indicated throughout though the part is optional. It might be played by a teacher.
Recorders Descant recorders double the vocal lines and play the dance tunes for each group of creatures.
KeyboardThere is no specific keyboard part, though, if desired, an electric keyboard or a piano may double the tuned percussion and voice parts in order to give additional support.

Sections

The Spider's Revenge

4/12/2013

Synopsis

Two children, playing in a garden, delight in tormenting ladybirds, snails, spiders and other living creatures who, they claim ‘have no right to be’. The spiders teach the children a salutary lesson, during the course of which they learn a great deal about the ways of these creatures, finally recognizing the wonder of the insect world and acknowledging that all ‘have their place on the earth’.

Composer Notes

Programme Notes

Short Note

The Spiders’ Revenge is a short music-theatre work (duration about 25 minutes) designed for performance by primary school children. The work was written for Evie Primary School, a small rural school in Orkney of about 60 pupils between the ages of five and eleven, and was specially devised to enhance an environmental studies project on ‘mini-beasts’. All the pupils in the school took part in the first performance.

 

First Performance

Orkney Arts Theatre, Kirkwall, Orkney (at the St. Magnus Festival)

Tuesday, 25 June 1991

Pupils of Evie Primary School, Orkney