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Simon Holt

Publisher: Chester Music

eco-pavan (1998)
comissioned by the London Sinfonietta and the BBC
Chester Music Ltd
Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
15 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)

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Programme Note
Simon Holt eco-pavan (1998)
eco-pavan is scored for solo piano, bass flute, heckelphone, harp, cimbalom, one percussionist (playing tuned gongs and cowbells mainly), mandolin, viola and bass. The title comes from a section in my opera The Nightingale’s to blame but this piece shares none of the material from that piece. The piece is essentially an enhanced piano piece of fourteen minutes duration – the ensemble echoing the sound of the piano and the material in the piece echoing itself. The louder outbursts are intended to bring into relief the essentially slow quiet of the piece.

eco-pavan is dedicated to Jo Kondo – a friend and fine composer of extraordinary integrity.

© Simon Holt

  • Ensemble
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Ulrich Heinen (vc), Rolf Hind (pf), Rinat Shaham (Ms)
    Simon Rattle/Martyn Brabbins
  • 19 FEB 2005
    Inventions: Holt and Sawer
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
    London Sinfonietta
    Rolf Hind, piano / Mark van de Wiel, clarinet; David Porcelijn, conductor
  • 15 JUN 2003
    Aldeburgh Festival
    Snape Maltings, Suffolk
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Rolf Hind, piano; Sakari Oramo, conductor
  • 31 MAY 2003
    Floof! A Celebration of New Music
    City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Centre, Birmingham
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
  • 10 NOV 2001
    eco-pavan Country Premiere
    Tel Aviv Museum, Israel
    Israel Contemporary Players
    Zsolt Nagy, conductor

    Other Dates:
    11 November - Jerusalem
  • 07 DEC 2000
    eco-pavan Country Premiere
    Antwerpen, Belgium
    Ensemble Modern
    Thierry Fischer, conductor

    Other Dates:
    9 December - Frankfurt, Germany
    11 December - Berlin, Germany
  • 20 NOV 1998
    eco-pavan World Premiere
    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
    Huddersfield, UK
    London Sinfonietta
    Rolf Hind, piano; Elgar Howarth, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22 November - London

Hind's playing [was] transformed by eight other instruments, including the evocative sounds of bass flute, cimbalon, mandolin and hecklephone.
Matthew Rye, The Daily Telegraph,21/02/2005
Holt's influences are predominantly mediteranean and his music blends lyricism with violence, above all in eco-pavan, in which a spectral instrumental ensemble echoes a piano solo that is by turns courtly and explosive.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian,21/02/2005
Eco-Pavan, a piece for piano and ghostly ensemble, built from the whispers of cimbalom, bass flute and other creatures usually only encountered in zoos. It was a quiet knockout.
Geoff Brown, The Times,04/06/2003
The “eco” in eco-pavan, by the way, relates not to PC environmentalism but to the Spanish word “echo” – a simple musical principle, here brilliantly realised for a gorgeously unconventional ensemble featuring heckelphone, bass flute and cimbalon. The results beguiled the ear, …
Malcolm Hayes, The Sunday Telegraph,29/11/1998
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