Cristóbal Halffter (1930-2021)

Palimsesto (1956 -2004)

for timpani and orchestra

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1956 - 2004
    • Duration: between 20 mn and 22 mn
    • Publisher: Universal Edition
    • Commission: Dresdner Philharmonie
    • Dedication: à Yves Olivier von Winterstein
Detailed formation
  • soloist: timpani
  • 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets (also piccolo trumpet), 3 trombones, bass tuba, 14 violins, 12 second violins, 10 violas, 8 cellos, 6 double basses

Premiere information

  • Date: 5 February 2005

    Allemagne, Dresde, Kulturpalast am Altmarkt


    Alexander Peter, timbales ; Dresdner Philharmonie ; Pedro Halffter Caro, direction

Program note

Palimsesto means to write or paint something anew on a page or a canvas on which something has already existed. … I used this process on a piece which I had composed back in 1956. Of this score, I left only the formal structure intact. Over it I laid sound surfaces of various dynamic densities, resulting from my experience during the nearly 50 years spent composing since then. Hence, Palimsesto is a “new” score in which the “old” elements can still be heard, depending on where we focus our eyes or our ears.

Cristóbal Halffter, octobre 2004