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Hill: The Raven / Lockington, Colorado Symphony

Release Date: 02/02/2018 
Label:  Colorado Symphony Association   Catalog #: 2  
Composer:  William Hill
Conductor:  David Lockington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado SymphonyColorado Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Raven was commissioned by the Colorado Symphony and Chorus and premiered on March 27 and 28, 2015 with David Lockington conducting. The text was chosen because of its beautiful use of the English language, its musical flow and character, and particularly for its rather ambiguous and thought provoking exploration of human loss. The Raven's entire eighteen stanzas are used, and Wagner's leitmotif technique links important aspects of the poem with musical gestures and the repeated 'nevermore'. A sad and nostalgic little waltz occurs in the first stanza as our hero remembers and then tries to forget his 'lost Lenore'. Fragments of this theme recur, alternately haunting and then sarcastically taunting him as he navigates the emotional twists Read more and turns of the poem. A heartbeat motive is used throughout, sometimes deep in the texture, sometimes front and center, much as our own heartbeats reflect states of calm or excitement and instability. Poe introduces the bird with a bit of humor, and this is reflected in the music as the subject's emotions change from curiosity to sarcasm then madness and finally resignation as he interacts with this (imaginary?) visitor. The musical language of The Raven is challenging for both the chorus and orchestra: chromaticism, quickly changing meter and tempo, irregular rhythm, very dense angular writing, and Neo Romantic/Impressionist textures. Read less

Works on This Recording

The Raven by William Hill
Conductor:  David Lockington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado Symphony,  Colorado Symphony Chorus
Period: Contemporary 
Written: United States 

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