Past Hymns


string orchestra
String Orchestra
Commissioned by Sinfonia 21 with funds provided by the Arts Council of England and support from Glaxo Wellcome
First Performance
3.2.97, St John's Smith Square, London: Sinfonia 21/Martyn Brabbins

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes
The piece was commissioned by Sinfonia 21 with funds provided by the Arts Council of England for a Contemporary Music Network Tour. The title is an illusion to a number of hymn melodies which provided inspiration for the music, though they are not quoted as such. The tunes are all American in origin, either Negro spiritual or Melody and Sankey, and the music is inspired as much by the words of the hymns as by the characterisation of the tunes. The piece combines these with a kind of fast rhythmic polyphony, not unlike that found in Elizabethan consort music, a source already used in my previous Sinfonia 21 commission Tye’s Crye. Julian Anderson

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