for orchestra

Enigma VII for orchestra was inspired by the seventh variation of Enigma by Edward Elgar. It was a BBC commission in 2019 to be premiered at the BBC Proms, as a special birthday tribute to conductor Martyn Brabbins, who turned 60.

Like the original, this work is also characterised by a rhythmic and uplifting drive. Starting from the timpani and the percussion, Wim Henderickx tried to make an exciting movement that will immediately provide the necessary power, atmosphere and impact.

Martyn Brabbins probably chose this variation for him because, as a percussionist, he often uses a wide variety of percussion in his compositions. With the double bass, tuba and contrabassoon the work leads to a first short outburst, after which the brass instruments take over the leading role with a fanfare-like motif. The orchestra's various instrumental sections are fully utilized, creating a stirring dialogue between the woodwinds, the brass, the percussion and the string session.

In the second part the composition descends to a melodic and rhythmic theme in the low register, with a groovy touch and accents in the woodwind and brass instruments. A lot of musical variations are added to the basic material (ornaments and variations in color and rhythm), creating a concertant idiom and leading towards the coda. Regarding the theme itself: Wim Henderickx used and processed various musical elements from the new Enigma theme of which he did not know the composer, as a source of inspiration.

In the end (the coda) a motive inspired by the spelling of Martyn Brabbins' name is introduced as a tribute to the wonderful conductor and friend, which gives the following pitches:
A-D-B (Martyn)
Bb-D-A-Bb-Bb-Eb (Brabbins) 



Norsk Musikforlag (publisher)


(+/- 2')
for orchestra
commissioned by BBC
World premiere: 13 August 2019 at BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London (UK)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conductor Martyn Brabbins