The Edge of The Olde One

Sydney Hodkinson

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

Quick Overview

"The Edge of the Olde One" was born simply as a request from a good friend who was interested in the elementary live electronic modification of woodwind instruments. The resultant piece was generated, again simply, from my desire to provide a challenging, often virtuosic and rewarding piece of work for that friend, whose musicianship and professional competence I greatly respected. The electrification of the solo instrument in addition to the customary amplification, employs echo, octave duplication, reverberation and modulation, all standard equipment for current pop/rock ensembles. There any similarity ends.

The work is sectionalized, in the manner of the traditional concertino form, into four parts, (with Introduction and Coda) but still roughly adhering to a slow-fast-slow formula. The segments are performed together without interruption:
?slow? ? 1 Prelude ? Introduction and Interludes
?fast? ? 2 Scherzo: Waltz and Tarantella Interrupts
3 Allegro: Riffs and Interlude
?slow? ? 4 Andante ? Postlude

I say ?roughly adhering? to the usual formal design owing to the conscious use of overlaying/blocking/cutting/repetition and simultaneity of the musical material presented to the listener, as is the custom of much mid-20th Century music.

The title derives from a work of 1841 prose written by the English Romantic poet John Clare (1793-1864), describing an 80-day walk largely without food. Clare?s extraordinary journey coupled with poor heath and a penniless condition resulted in his being certified insane; he spent the last 23 years of his life committed to an asylum. The musical score bears the following inscription, which I found to be moving and suggestive:

??I eagerly wandrd on and rambld along the furze the whole day til I got out of my knowledge?often wondring to myself that I had not found the edge of the olde one the sky still touched the ground in the distance and my childish wisdom was puzzld in perplexitys??

"The Edge of the Olde One" was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for the English horn player Thomas Stacy; the score is dedicated to him. The composition was completed in February, 1977 in Rochester, N.Y.

Additional Information

Commission New York Philharmonic Society for Thomas Stacy
Composition Date 1977
Orchestration Electrified English Horn, Perc. Str. Tape
Premiere 13 May 1977. Cooper Union, Pierre Boulez conducting; New York, NY

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