Symphony No. 9

…epiphanies… an Anthem in eight stanzas

Sydney Hodkinson

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Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

An epiphany, a spiritual event in which the essence of a given object of manifestation appears to the subject, may seem a strange conjuring for a work in memory of a very dear, departed friend. Yet how does one pay homage; how can one express such private loss?

The sudden, and violent, death in December, 1992, of the composer Stephen Albert ? in his 51st year ? upset American musical circles greatly. In attempting to call forth not only my own responses, but also personal evocations of the joy, sadness, and energy of Stephen?s creative work, I opted for a structure akin to the Proper of the Latin Mass service. For me, the composition took on a ritualistic ?byzantine? quality characterized by its formality of design, the use of intricate instrumental colour, stylized ?frontal? representations, and religious subject matter. Accordingly, much use is made of chant-like melody, repetition, and canonic devices.

The eight principal sections of the piece are generally laid out in a ?verse and response? manner, as the stanzas indicate, with interjected ? often exuberant ? ritornelli; with tonal centers based on pitches common to each of our names: primarily E and E-flat. Two brief mottoes ? the first also derived from conjugal name-pitches, the second borrowed from my 1978 "Missa Brevis" (heard largely in piano/celesta, harp and bell percussion) ? constantly recur throughout the course of the composition as cyclical binding-forces, serving as the genesis for all of the material in the work. The first motto evolves into a final lengthy hymn (ALLELUIA), comprising roughly one quarter of the piece.

"Symphony No. 9?epiphanies?" is approximately 27 minutes in duration and is scored for full symphony orchestra, with triple woodwinds, brass, percussion, piano, celesta and harp, but minus the strings so revered by Mr. Albert. A major soloistic role is assigned to an antiphonal quartet of brasses.

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Additional Information

Composition Date 1993
Duration 00:27:00
Orchestration Solo Brass Quintet; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 2 1(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Cel.
Premiere 23rd April, 1999. University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble, conducted by Richard Clary.

Details

1. Prologue: Ritornello I - INVOCATION - Ritornello II
2. Alleluia - INTROITUS
3. LAUDA I - Ritornello III
4. RESPONSUM - Ritornello IV
5. GRADUALIS
6. TRACTUS - Introitus II
7. LAUDA II - Ritornello V - Responsum II
8. ALLELU...

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