Monumentum pro umbris

for Wind Ensemble

Sydney Hodkinson

Performing Ensemble: Wind Ensemble
Duration: 20:00
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"Monumentum pro umbris" took shape very gradually as a personal reflection on our earth?s last decade of wars and large-scale human suffering. The contemplation of great pain and horrendous loss of life leaves one totally benumbed. On at least three other occasions, I have resorted to the medium of large massed winds and percussion to give vent to similar concerns.

Accordingly, much of this music has a dark meditative, "processional" aspect, perhaps evoking a somewhat Byzantine religious ritual. The muted chorales (in the horns, and later intoned by the clarinets), implacable percussion, and an extensive use of repetition (both of a brass 6-note motto and ascending woodwind figuration) all conspire to convey the work's sombre attitude.

All of the sonic material - often obsessively - is generated from a brief fragment of Claudio Monteverdi's 1608 Lamento d'Arianna: "Lasciate mi morire" (O, let me know die!). The renaissance master's quotation is only heard - very distinctly - near the close of the piece.

The score is dedicated to the loving memory of two American composers: Earle Brown (1926-2002) and Ralph Shapey (1921-2002), both of whom took the time and patience - in the late 1950s - to serve as mentor for a very young Canadian beginner. I am eternally grateful for their generosity. The work was written for the wind ensemble of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, N.Y. (with whom I had close relationship, both as performer and conductor), and its new leader, Mark Scatterday, on the occasion of his appointment in July, 2002.

"Momentum pro umbris" (Memorial for the Departed Spirits) is approximately 20 minutes in duration and is scored for full winds, brass, a large percussion section, with harp and piano. It was conceived in Aspen, Colorado and Bloomington, Indiana, during teaching stints there, and the scoring was completed on August 30, 2002, in Ormond-by-the-Sea, Florida.

Additional Information

Composition Date 2002
Orchestration 3(dbl. 2Picc.) 3(E.H.) 6(EbCl./Sop.Cl./B.Cl./Cb.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.), Sop.Sax. AltoSax. Ten.Sax. Bar.Sax. - 4 4 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 6Perc. Pno. Hp. Cb.
Premiere November 6th, 2003. Stetson University Wind Ensemble, Bobby Adams, conductor; Deland, Florida.

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