Instrumentation

fl(=picc).ca.cl(=cbcl) - perc(1): ch.bar/vib/susp.cym/tam-t/bell tree/2 tgl/claves/2 tpl.bl/bamboo windchimes/cardboard box/balloon/pin - vlc

Availability

Score 0571508855 on sale, parts for hire

Programme Notes

An early version of this piece was written and performed in 1970; Hums and Songs, which contains much new material, was composed in the spring of 1983 for the Aldeburgh Festival. It isn’t exactly a setting of the episode with tree, bees and balloon near the beginning of A A Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh – indeed, words are rarely discernible; neither is it a small-scale tone poem, though there are many onomatopoeic devices. It is, rather, a sequence of faded snapshots and reflections, by an unwilling grown-up, on things remembered from the book, and on what those things meant to him as a child. So the piece is whimsical: it hops back and forth between Pooh-like expressions and the inner world of a child just after the light is switched off, following no particular pattern – I allowed the music to take itself where it wanted to go. The two worlds meet in the last song during which, perhaps, the child falls asleep.

© Oliver Knussen

Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh

Teatro Elfo Puccini (Milan, Lombardy, Italy)

Sentieri Selvaggi, Carlo Boccadoro

Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh

Lippes Concert Hall, University at Buffalo (New York City, NY, USA)

Ensemble Signal, Brad Lubman

Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh

Concert Hall, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom)

students from Royal Conservatoire

Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh

National premieres of: Ophelia's Last Dance, Whitman Settings, Sonya's Lullaby, Requiem

Konserthuset (Stockholm, Sweden)

Claire Booth, Stefan Lindgren, Ryan Wigglesworth, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Christian Karlsen

Hums and Songs of Winnie-the-Pooh

Composer of the Week

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)