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Simon Holt

Publisher: Chester Music

a knot of time (2010)
Text Writer
Garcia Lorca
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Voice(s) and up to 6 players
Year Composed
17 Minutes

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Programme Note
Simon Holt a knot of time (2010)
a knot of time
words by Federico García Lorca
1. Cada cancion
2. El grito
3. El silencio
4. Aire de nocturno
5. El puñal en el corazon

'a knot of time' began its life in 1992 as a piece for the Composer's Ensemble for clarinet, viola, cello and bass with mezzo soprano. It was originally the title of only one setting using the poem 'Cada cancion' by Lorca. The tessitura of the vocal line always seemed generally too low for the music and there were also problems with the clarinet writing, so I changed the mezzo-soprano to soprano. I also felt that I should add more settings for the piece to have more of a life and so was thrilled when Faith Wilson asked me for some music to celebrate her 60th birthday in 2008. I decided immediately to add two more Lorca settings to this first setting. I wrote 'El grito' and 'El silencio' quite quickly in June 2008. I added 'Aire de Nocturno' in October of the same year, but still didn't feel that it was complete and so added a brief and rather explosive setting to close in April 2010; 'El puñal en el corazon'. The whole piece will be premiered in October 2010, with the soprano, Sarah Leonard, and members of the BCMG, eighteen years after the initial response to Lorca's texts.

(c) Simon Holt
[May 2010]

Holt's vocal writing, though fiendishly demanding, is also rewardingly expressive.
David Hart, Birmingham Post,15/10/2010
...a taut, elusive sequence in which the vivid, quietly terrifying imagery of the texts is set against a clarinet and three strings, or more often counterpointed with just one of those instruments pushed to the limits of its possibilities.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian,12/10/2010
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