CoDI Buddies 2018
Iestyn Harding: Song at the Year's Turning
The title of this piece is taken from a poem by RS Thomas. While the off-stage horn solo at the outset might conjure thoughts of what “Shelley dreamed…”, the music makes no attempt to follow or even depict the course of the poem, even if the music ends “in flame” like “the new grass”.
Essentially, the piece is a series of loose variations on that initial horn melody. The variations are not of equal length with a lilting Andante variation being more extended. The latter half of the piece, Fast, sees melodic variations run headlong into a brass chorale before the orchestra fizzes into the final notes.
These musings explore various instruments and sections of the orchestra with notable solos including an extended one for cor anglais. There are also prominent passages for woodwind, pizzicato strings, brass and percussion.
The composition of Song at the Year’s Turning was made possible with funding from Tŷ Cerdd’s 2018/19 CoDi Buddies scheme which partnered Welsh composers with non-professional music makers to create new works and forge links between creators and local communities.
Song at the Year’s Turning is a substantially different piece from the one that was to have been originally performed in April 2020 – how could it not be given both the intervening time and the world events! In gratitude for patience and support, the score is for Michael Bell and dedicated to members of Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra, past present and future.
Iestyn Harding, 2022
Song at the Year’s Turning was premiered by the Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra at the Church of Our Lady and St Mary, Abergavenny on 20 November 2022.