ALUN HODDINOTT (1929 - )

Hoddinott is widely regarded as one of the most significant composers of his generation with a prolific output covering all major musical forms - nine symphonies, over fifteen concertante works, ten piano sonatas, five violin sonatas, three string quartets, five operas and a wide variety of Vocal, Choral and Chamber music. 

He is often stimulated to composition by extra-musical ideas both poetic and pictorial - some of his best-known works are 'the Sun the great luminary of the universe', 'the heaventree of stars', 'Lanterne des morts' and 'Landscapes'. Recent scores which follow these are the hugely successful 'Star Children', a 1989 Prom commission which the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra took on tour to Japan and which they have recorded commercially, and Noctis Equi, a scena for Mstislav Rostropovich first performed at Hoddinott's 60th birthday concert at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano which was recorded immediately afterwards. Philosophical quests also inspire this composer and his most recent work, his Symphony No. 9 for soprano and orchestra, A VISION OF ETERNITY, premiered by Dame Gwynneth Jones for whom it was written to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of St. David's Hall, Cardiff, is a prime example of this. 

The range of Hoddinott's distinctive musical language is very wide. His music is always driven by an exhilarating rhythmic control and coloured by an impeccable ear for instrumental sonority. Works range from serious, highly integrated Chamber works to light-hearted scores like the popular 'Quodlibet on Welsh Nursery Tunes'. 

Commissions, performances and broadcasts of Hoddinott's works now take place worldwide. A number of major new works will be featured at the most important Welsh Festivals and other recent scores receive their first London performances. 

SOME WORKS 

Orchestral

Aubade, Concerti Grossi (2), Night Music, Passaggio, Quodlibet on Welsh Nursery Tunes, Sinfoniettas (4), concertos (horn, cello, oboe, organ, piano, harp, violin, triple), symphonies

Noctis Equi 'I recorded this lyrical, dramatic fantasy with great pleasure. The music reflects Alun Hoddinott's technical knowledge of the cello and skilful use of its interrelation with the orchestra.' (Mstislav Rostropovich)

Star Children '...a purely musical journey coloured by the character of the ritual [ed. tribal rite of passage]

Symphony for Soprano and Orchestra (No. 9): A Vision of Eternity (text by Blake and Shelley) 'All the known characteristics of his personal style are there: the crashing chords which splinter into dispersed fragments, powerfully constructed climaxes, dark colours suddenly illuminated by flashes of light...Formidable in impact, it has musical and intellectual strength, and is one of Hoddinott's most important and thought-provoking works.' (THE MUSICAL TIMES, 1993)

Chamber

Piano trio, brass quintet, string quartets, pieces for harp, organ, cello, 4 piano sonatas, violin sonata

Vocal/Choral

Several pieces

 

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