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