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Kevin Volans

Publisher: Chester Music

Symphony: Daar kom die Alibama (2010)
Chester Music Ltd
Sub Category
Chamber Orchestra
Year Composed
22 Minutes
Programme Note
Kevin Volans Symphony: Daar kom die Alibama (2010)
Volans' ‘symphony’ refers to the original meaning of ‘sounding together’ and is composed partly in honour of an extraordinary piece of cross-cultural music, written by members of the Cape Malay community in Africa in 1863. Daar Kom die Alibama is “a meditation on the sea and the role of ships and their cargoes in our history … the piece hovers in a state of unfulfilled anticipation from beginning to end” [Volans]

Irish composer Kevin Volans has been described as “one of the planet’s most distinctive and unpredictable voices” [Village Voice]. His compositions have received worldwide critical acclaim. Recent commissions include a piano concerto for the Marc-Andre Hamelin and the San Francisco Symphony, a large work for triple ensemble for the Ikon Gallery Birmingham and the Kunstmuseum Bonn, and a new piano concerto for Barry Douglas and BBC Symphony. His work is being featured in the forthcoming Musikfest Berlin in September.

The term ‘solo’ implies that the instrument in question should be heard above the overall
texture of the ensemble, irrespective of its dynamic marking. ‘non solo’ cancels this. All strings are divisi throughout. If possible, the piano should not have its lid removed, and be appropriately positioned where the player can see the conductor – e.g. between the violas and cellos or second violins and violas.

  • Ensemble
    RTE National Symphony Orchestra
    Storioni Trio, Isabelle O'Connell
    Gavin Maloney, Alan Buribayev
    RTÉ lyric fm :
...elegantly shaped, often strikingly beautiful...
Andrew Clements, Guardian,9/29/2010
...gripping stuff...
Sarah Urwin Jones, The Times,8/31/2010
The music beautifully evoked the sounds associated with sea voyages: whistles and horns, the rhythmic purr of engines and squarking sea gulls.
Sue Nickalls, The Scotsman,8/30/2010
...ideally should have been played twice.
Sue Nickalls, The Scotsman,8/30/2010
...a kind of brightly coloured musical mobile...
Ivan Hewitt, Telegraph,8/30/2010
...a return to something rooted.
Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph,8/19/2010
...a genuine original.
Michael Tumelty, Herald Scotland,8/4/2010
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