The title Palimpsest derives from the Greek language and refers to a parchment scroll that after having been scratched clean or after having been made unreadable by making the original text invisible, is used once again. Many a time the original text remained more or less visible. This characteristic is continually audible during the performance. In spite of the differences in key or character, the subject matter can always be traced back to the initial theme. The first and second violins introduce the theme after which the composition is called to life by an accumulating process. The complete form of the composition is divided into a number of episodes that are separated by so-called scene changes. During these scene changes the musicians pass on the rapid violin parts to one another as in a relay race. After the second scene change an interlude follows, which can be looked upon as a chromatic and continuously composed loop. After the fourth episode a coda follows.
SIMEON TEN HOLT