Natural History was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It was written for the voice of Dawn Upshaw. The first performance was given by these artists, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, on 14th January 1999, in Symphony Hall, Boston.
3 Flutes (3rd doubling piccolo and alto flute) 3 Oboes 3 Clarinets in Bb 3 Bassoons (3rd doubling contrabassoon)
4 Horns in F 3 Trumpets in C Tuba
Percussion (2 players) 1. Cymbals, Tubular Bells, Suspended Cymbal, Glockenspiel 2. Glockenspiel (shared with first player), Snare Drum, TamTam, Xylophone, Bamboo Chimes, Metal Wind Chimes, Gong