Rush (1999)

for guitar and string quartet (Faber Music site, including score preview)
also for oboe and string quartet (arr. 2001) (Faber Music site, including score preview)
also for clarinet and string quartet
also for soprano saxophone and string quartet
also for piano trio (arr. 2015) (Faber Music site, including score preview)
or guitar and string orchestra

duration: 10 minutes

Audio excerpt from guitar + string quartet version, middle of the piece
Piano trio version, on Spotify

Programme Notes

Contemporary Australian composers have the opportunity to learn from and be influenced by a wealth of musical styles that have passed before them. Matthew Hindson’s Rush is one such piece that, while containing a mixture of these musical characteristics, in turn displays its own style unique to the composer.

Although it may not be apparent upon its first hearing, Hindson has used as a starting point for Rush the music of Felix Mendelssohn. The fast and technically challenging passages found in the final movement of the Mendelssohn String Octet influenced Hindson’s decision to compose a work that is highly virtuosic in nature. The composer remarks, “it is much more the spirit of Mendelssohn’s string writing that was influential, particularly the last movements of his string quartets and the String Octet, rather than any sort of harmony or melodic invention.”

In addition to the influence of Mendelssohn, Matthew Hindson has also found inspiration in the popular music idiom. Popular and, in particular, ‘techno’ music and culture have played a large role in the development of Hindson’s musical style (with his other works displaying such titles as SPEED and Homage to Metallica), and Rush is no exception. The playful, up-beat and repetitive rhythms found in popular music are a prominent feature of this work. The fast and mostly accelerating tempo of Rush reinforces both the title of the piece and the influence of ‘techno’ music. Rush also features a series of catchy and vibrant melodies, making the work accessible to a wide audience. The playful nature of the music can also be considered as a reflection of the hedonistic nature of modern society, where a large emphasis is placed on the pursuit of pleasure and enjoyment.

Matthew Hindson is one of a number of composers who are attempting to establish and express their place within today’s world. Hindson’s now distinctive style incorporates, and is heavily based on, the music pervading contemporary popular culture. The composer, however, is not unwilling to accept the influences of more established art-music traditions, and adopts these where he feels necessary. Combined, these influences provide the listener with a fresh, accessible and culturally up-to-date musical experience.

notes © Michelle Kennedy.


“Matthew Hindson’s Rush is a Musica Viva commission, and it certainly doesn’t hang about – its nine or so minutes contain a very large number of high-speed notes, mostly scored as an ensemble but with solos for everyone. The influences of popular music are clear, but Hindson is developing a very personal approach.” – Tristram Cary, The Australian, 20 August 1999.

“… And the obligatory knees-up after interval produced from Australia’s classical techno-head, Matthew Hindson, one of his most effective explorations of romantic agony and dance-floor ecstasy [, Rush].” – Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 August 1999.

“The final Rush by Matthew Hindson is a thoroughly modern piece that mirrors the Boccherini [D Major Quintet] with a compelling rhythmic drive. Its chief element is an amalgam – pop-cum-rock-cum-jazz. There is a minimum of melody, replaced by a whipped-up propulsion.” – The Age, 23 August 1999.

CD Recording Available?

See the Benaud Trio recording of the Piano Trio version.

Other Information

This piece was performed by Diana Doherty and the Goldner String Quartet at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (July 2006) in a tremendously exciting performance. It has been toured extensively around Australia by such groups as the St. Lawrence String Quartet (2011) and the Belcea Quartet.

Matthew Hindson talking about the commissioning and ideas behind Rush

One thought on “Rush (1999)”

  1. i like “Rush”. I think is very good armonised and is ! I have a classic quartetto and frisends how colaborate with me at guitar, flute and percution.I make music like ECM, if you know…from germany.

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