A colourful and challenging piece of programmatic music describing the birth of the composer's son, Tristan.
Beginnings was inspired by the birth of Ritchie's son Tristan. It depicts the slowly mounting tension of the labour, through to the birth itself.
There is a gradual growth in the music from small, delicate gestures into wild and pulsating ones towards the end. The child is represented by a 'little Tristan waltz' which eventually gets caught up in the musical frenzy. The waltz sequence imposes order on the music, which tends to be fragmentary and changeable.
There are some echoes of Bartok and Debussy in this earlyish work, and it presents a good challenge for a professional orchestra.