Upside Down-Under Variations were commissioned by the Australian Wine Company Leeuwin Estate for Klaus Tennstedat and the LPO. It was first performed in October 1985 at a Royal Gala Concert for Save the Children Fund at the Royal Festival Hall and it has since become the custom that orchestras visiting Australia finish their programmes with this piece as an encore.
It is a short set of variations with a theme! The theme is disguised at the beginning in a fairly contemporary idiom and gradually reveals a well-known Australian folk tune. With the aid of some wit and self parody the composer brings the piece to a triumphal conclusion.
Symphony Orchestra. 2(2 dbl Picc).2.2.2/18.104.22.168/Timp/2Perc/Strings
Commission: the Leeuwin Estate for the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Dedication: ‘To Klaus Tennstedt’
Publisher: Universal Edition