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Simon Holt

Publisher: Chester Music

Sueños (2006)
Commissioned by Southbank Centre
Text Writer
Antonio Machado
Chester Music Ltd
Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
25 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
low male voice

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Programme Note
Simon Holt Sueños (2006)
Sueños is a setting of six Antonio Machado poems predominantly about dreams (‘sueños’). Written for Bass baritone with Bass flute, Oboe d'Amore, Clarinet in A, Bassoon, Flugelhorn, Tuba in F, Percussion, Guitar, Accordion, Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass, the piece lasts approximately 23 minutes and has eight movements:

1] cigüeña (‘stork’) - instrumental
2] un fanal de lluvia y sol (‘a lantern of rain and sun’)
3] la lira inmensa (‘the vast lyre’)
4] aire sombrio (‘shadowy air’) - instrumental
5] señas lejanas (‘distant signals’)
6] garabato (‘pot hook’) - instrumental
7] este dia triste (‘this sad day’)
8] el demonio (‘the Devil’)

It was written in the summer of '06 and has two dedications. The second movement is dedicated to the memory of a friend, Marichu Tros de Ilarduya, the fourth to the memory of György Ligeti, who I never met, but I've often felt inspired by his brave and powerfully individual music.

© Simon Holt

Preview the score:

  • 05 NOV 2007
    Sueños World Premiere
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
    London Sinfonietta
    Roderick Williams, baritone; Julia Bardsley, visuals

    Other Dates:
    12 November - CDMC, Madrid

The highlight was Simon Holt's song cycle Suenos, a Southbank commission receiving its world premiere. Holt, always serious and uncompromising, has a gift for the quietly, ravishingly sensuous. This setting of five poems by Antonio Machado showed him at his lyrical best...these enigmatic dream poems suited the shadowy combination of dark-hued instruments including oboe d'amore, flugelhorn and accordion.
Fiona Maddocks, Evening Standard,01/01/0001
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