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Haflidi Hallgrímsson

Publisher: Chester Music

Notes from a Diary (2005), 33
Commissioned by Thorunn Osk Marinosdottir with finanical assistance from Musica Nova in Iceland and NESTA
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
2005
Duration
38 Minutes
Orchestration
Availability


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Programme Note
Haflidi Hallgrímsson Notes from a Diary (2005), 33
During a visit to Amsterdam two years ago, I found myself standing by a dark window covered in grey dense material in a house, no.263 in Prinsengracht, where Ann Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years during the second world war. Standing by the window in this unique museum with silent visitors passing by, my emotional response to this environment and what it represented was strangely muted. Suddenly a large bell was struck in the Westertoren Church nearby and the deep resonance emanating from that bell shook me profoundly for a split second. So this was the sound that Ann found reassuring; I was for a few moments painfully aware of her terrible fate. When I started work on a composition for viola and piano the experience in the Ann Frank Museum became more and more the magnet that shaped the musical character of the work.

The mysterious and almost secretive sound of the viola seemed perfect for the sound-worlds I wished to create. The piano represents at times the “outer” world and the viola the “inner” world. Notes From a Diary consists of 15 short movements that form a larger whole, like songs in a song-cycle. There are no direct references to Ann’s diary, but much to my own “diary of sounds” that emerged gradually from that single stroke of a bell that I heard in the Ann Frank Museum in Amsterdam two years ago.

HH, August 2005


Score sample


  • Ensemble
    Fidelio Trio
    Soloist(s)
    Matthew Jones, viola
    Delphian:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 28 APR 2007
    Hallgrimsson at 60
    Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, Scotland
    Fidelio Trio
    Joel Hunter, viola
  • 27 JAN 2007
    National Art Gallery, Reykjavík, Iceland
    Thórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir, viola; Steinunn Ragnarsdóttir, piano
  • 21 JAN 2007
    Festival of Icelandic Contemporary Music, Iceland
    Thorunn Osk Marinosdottir, viola
  • 04 NOV 2005
    Notes from a Diary UK Premiere
    Kilmardinny House, Kilmardinny
    Catherine Marwood (viola)

    Other Dates:
    5 November - Tolbooth, Stirling
    8 November - Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
    9 November - Universal Hall, Findhorn
    11 November - Birnam Institute, Dunkeld
    12 November - Andus Arts, Fettercairn Hall, Fettercairn
    13 November - Woodend Barn, Banchory
  • 03 JUN 2005
    Notes from a Diary World Premiere
    International Viola Congress
    Ymir Concert Hall, Reykjavik
    Thorunn Osk Marinosdottir, viola / Kristinn Örn Kristinsson, piano

Reviews
The [work] here [is an] impressivley eloquent example of the Icelandic-born, Edinburgh-resident Haflidi Hallgrimsson's art. Notes from a Diary, Op 33 (2005), inspired by a visit to the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam, are given by the viola player Matthew Jones, are 15 crafted reflections, powerfully poignant as well as beautiful.
Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times,24/02/2008
Haflidi Hallgrimsson's new work, Notes from a Diary Op 33 (in memoriam Anne Frank) for viola and piano also conjoured some evocative images. Searing chord clusters and tightly pitched intervals recreated the haunting sound of the bells from Westertoren Church in Amsterdam...
The Scotsman,10/11/2005
...a series of intensely expressive miniatures for viola and piano...
The Herald,09/11/2005
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