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Antony Hopkins
ALDEBURGH FESTIVAL SUITE
Goodmusic Concert Originals Series GMCO109

Catalogue Number: GMCO109

Difficulty level: E What's this?

ISMN: 9790222290761

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Aldeburgh Festival Suite  Pack image
ORCHESTRATION
Violin 1, Violin 2, Violin 3, Viola, Cello, Bass, 2 Trumpets in C

Originally titled Festival Overture this work was written for a concert in the 1950 Aldeburgh Festival where it received it’s first performance on 24th June 1950 in Aldeburgh Parish Church conducted by the composer. It was subsequently neglected until it received a further performance on 23rd November 2013 at St.Peter’s Church, Berkhamsted played by the Bridgewater Sinfonia conducted by Adrian Davis.
Antony Hopkins writes:
Judge of my surprise when I received a letter from Benjamin Britten asking me to write a short Festival Overture for the then comparatively new Aldeburgh Festival. It was to be for a tiny band - just 11 strings and 2 trumpets. I had earlier dedicated my first opera to Britten and this may have been a kindly reciprocal gesture. I duly wrote this piece and tried to finish it triumphantly, despite the small resources. My 'triumph' was received in total silence - I had forgotten that the performance was given in the local church, and in those days applause wasn't allowed in churches. Surely the angels wouldn't mind? Anyway, to this day, it was the biggest anti-climax of my life, and I slunk out of the building a broken spirit.
Benjamin Britten seems to have thought well of the piece as Antony received a letter of thanks a short while afterwards. The letter is reproduced on the inside back cover of the full score.
For this first publication, it was decided to rename the work Aldeburgh Festival Suite because of it’s origins and because a suite of four movements (albeit joined together) seems a more appropriate description than an overture with four movements, which, incidentally, are titled Fanfare, March, Recitative & Finale.
As the piece was originally written for only 6 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos and bass (plus 2 trumpets) this means that there are three (divisi) violin parts; the Violin 3 is not an "alternative" or optional part. A performance with a larger number of strings will, of course, give a fuller sound.
Duration 8 minutes

A PACK comprises one full score and string parts 4/4/3/4/2.

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