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Hugh Wood

Publisher: Chester Music

Poem (1993)
commissioned by the PLG Young Artists Concerts New Year Series 1994
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
8 Minutes

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Programme Note
Hugh Wood Poem (1993)
I wrote this piece in June and July of 1993 for Clio Gould. I have long admired her playing, and the piece is dedicated to her. There is nothing complicated about the title – no attempts at imitation of sonnet structure or any arcane rhyming scheme: it just seemed like a nice name for a piece which was intended to be straightforwardly lyrical - one long tune, in fact. Piano and violin are not equal partners here as they would be in a sonata: nevertheless I hope there is enough of interest for the piano to do. As for the violin, it never stops playing.

I suppose the piece is binary, in the sense that the tune happens twice. The opening rhetorical section, marked ‘exultante’, is more white-note than anything I’ve written for some time: this character alternates with chromatic music. The tune begins pianissimo on the violin and, by way of a rising section with much double stopping, comes to the climax and a return of an enhanced version of the opening declamation. The tune returns pianissimo as before, but in a higher register and with a more flowing and intricate accompaniment. From now on the violin spends most of its time in the stratosphere before a final, ghostly return of the opening rhetorical figure in harmonics at the very end.

Hugh Wood

  • Soloist(s)
    Alexandra Wood, violin; Huw Watkins, piano
    Usk Recordings:
  • Ensemble
    The London Archduke Trio
    Paul Silverthorne (viola), Roger Heaton (clarinet)
  • 20 OCT 2012
    The Chapel of King's College, Cambridge
    Choir of King's College Cambridge
  • 11 JAN 2008
    Park Lane Group Young Artists New Year Series
    Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London
    Eulaine Charland, violin; Mailo Mori, piano; Peter Sparks, clarinet; Matthew Schellhorn, piano
  • 11 JAN 2008
    Park Lane Group Young Artists New Year Series
    Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London
    Eulalie Charland, violin; Maiko Mori, piano; Peter Sparks, clarinet; Matthew Schelthorn, piano
  • 24 AUG 2007
    Presteigne Festival
    St. Andrew's Church, Presteigne
    Catriona Scott, clarinet; Sara Trickey, violin; Huw Watkins, piano
  • 11 JAN 2006
    Park Lane Group Young Artists New Year Series 2006
    Purcell Room, London
    Fenella Humphrys (violin) and Helen Reid (piano)
  • 02 NOV 2005
    Royal College of Music, London
    Alexandra Wood (violin) and Huw Watkins (piano)
  • 19 NOV 2004
    West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
    Alexandra Wood (vn), Huw Watkins (pf)
  • 16 MAY 2004
    Hampstead and Highgate Festival
    Lauderdale House, London
    Eleanor Percy, violin / Irina Lyakhovskaya, piano
  • 10 JAN 2001
    PLG Young Artists New Years Series
    Purcell Rooms
    Alexandra Wood, violin / Huw Watkins, piano
  • 20 APR 1999
    British Music Information Centre
    David Hackbridge Johnson, violin / Yeu Meng Chan, piano

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