Bricks

Concerto - Fantasia for Violin Solo and Chamber Sextet

Sydney Hodkinson

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Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

This composition grew out of the personal desire to celebrate the life, and honour the memory, of a departed friend. The piece is not a customary lamenting memorial, although I naturally trust that the more elegiac moments will be clearly heard. Instead, I strove to write a work that I felt my friend would have enjoyed hearing.

The subtitle connotes two facets of the solo violin part: (a) the concerto aspect, which needs little comment; the demands on the soloist?s stamina, dexterity and finesse are innumerable; (b) the ?fantasy? aspect, which is evoked not only by its improvisatory character, which often seems to be in a world of its own, but also by the somewhat unusual form structure. The design is devoid of any ?development? of material in the traditional sense; rather, it evolves from the constant accretion of five sonic fragments (Bricks), each one juxtaposed in varying lengths, dynamics, and placements during the work?s time-span.

However, the final shape of the entire edifice might be perceived as being mortared together into four ?rooms?: introductory ? slower ? fast ? slow. Three contrasting, but pulse-related tempos are used throughout; placid (very slow), andante (moderato) and vivace (very fast) marked Lento, Moderato and Presto ? which constantly recur in shifting blocks.

Bricks is approximately seventeen minutes in duration and is scored for solo violin accompanied by three duos: (a) flute and clarinet (with a large role given to the bass clarinet); (b) keyboard percussion (primarily vibraphone and marimba) and piano; (c) viola and violoncello. Smaller parts are additionally assigned to celesta and triangle, played by the ensemble members.

The score, completed in November, 2004, in Ormond, Florida, was written as a memorial to the American English horn player Philip West (1931 ? 2004), a friend of long-standing. The work was commissioned jointly by the Hanson Institute of American Music at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, and the Aspen, Colorado, Music Festival and School. It received its first performance on July 14, 2005 by the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble with Stephen Myacki, violin soloist, and the composer conducting.

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Additional Information

Commission IN MEMORIAM: Philip West February 26, 1931 - June 26, 2004 Jointly commissioned by The Hanson Institute for American Music at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY and the Aspen Music Festival and School, Aspen, CO.
Composition Date 2004
Duration 00:17:00
Orchestration Vln. Solo; Fl. B.Cl.(dbl. Cl./Cel.) Pno. Vla. Vcl. Perc.
Premiere 16th July, 2005. Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Sydney Hodkinson; Aspen Music Festival,

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