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DOUGLAS HEDWIG

COMPOSER 

CONDUCTOR - MUSIC JOURNALIST - TRUMPETER 

AUDIO Recordings - The Music of Douglas Hedwig

1. A Certain Slant of Light (2015), brass quintet, organ and percussion

2. Movable Borders (2017/18) for string orchestra (or string quintet)

3. Hodie Canamus (2018) orchestra, chorus, piano, timpani, trumpet ens.

4. Rowing in Eden:Three Dickinson Songs (2019), soprano and piano

5. Fanfare Alegre: Dia de la Fiesta (2018) symphony orchestra (midi-)

6. ONYX (2007/2015) for brass quintet

7. Its Soul of Music Shed (2005/2016) for solo flugelhorn & narrator

1. A Certain Slant of Light (2015) for brass quintet, organ and percussion

1. Heavenly Hurt, 2. Internal Difference, 3. Landscape Listens, 4. Shadows Hold Their Breath, 5. Illumination

Recording Timings: 1st mvt [00:00-02:02]. 2nd mvt [02:07-04:22]. 3rd mvt [04:33-09:11]. 4th mvt [09:21-13:02]. 5th mvt [13:13-17:47].

A Certain Slant of Light was inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem, “There’s a Certain Slant of Light,” first published in 1890. Although certainly not a literal rendering, the composition borrows titles of the first four movements from lines in the poem - “Heavenly Hurt,” “Internal Difference,” “Shadows Hold Their Breath,” “Landscape Listens” – which may give the listener an emotional orientation to the music. The fifth and final movement, “Illumination,” more closely reflects the composer’s own impressions and sense of hope, understanding, and newfound strength after confronting and dealing with turmoil and adversity. Commissioned by St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Chattanooga, TN (Dr. Keith S. Reas, Organist & Director of Music), A Certain Slant of Light was a winner of the 2018 American Prize, and is published by Carl Fischer Music (NYC).

2. Movable Borders (2017/18) for string orchestra (or string quintet)

1. Journey [00:00-07:57]. 2. Hymn [08:01-14:00]. Dance [14:04-19:14].

Movable Borders is a three-movement composition that is inspired by the composer's travels and cultural exploration in various parts of the world. The first movement employs stylistic elements of Hungary and Argentina (with just a touch of Frank Zappa!). The lyrical second movement was created following a trip to India, and combines elements of both Hindustani music as well as traditional Western music. The third movement is based on the folk music of the Balkans and Eastern Europe and is filled with rhythmic energy and drive. The work was commissioned by the Chattanooga Symphony String Quintet who premiered the work in 2017. In 2018 the work was adapted for string orchestra, which is the version presented here.

3. Hodie Canamus (2018) for chamber orchestra, chorus, piano, timpani and trumpet ensemble

1. Introit [00:00-03:31]. 2. Gladness and Delight [03:32-05:24]. 3. Psalmus in Confessione [05:30-08:06].

Composed for and in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Orvieto Musica, "Hodie Canamus" was premiered June 24, 2018 at the Orvieto Cathedral, Italy. "Neo-Renaissance" in style, the work draws specifically upon the rich musical traditions of the Italian Renaissance. The spatially-seperated trumpet ensembles that open the work reflects the importance of the civic trumpeters in most medieval and renaissance European cites. A polychoral theme is then presented first in the trumpets, then picked up and developed by the full ensemble. (Elements of this theme are based on a manuscript found in the Cathedral of Siena, Italy from c.1600.) The second and third movements are partial settings of Psalm 100; in a modern English translation, then in Latin. The second movement is based on a kind of secular 16th century Italian song known as a "strombetto." The final movement is inspired by the music of Fabio Costantini(c. 1575-1644), who was Maestro di Capella at the Cathedral of Orvieto.

4. Rowing in Eden:Three Dickinson Songs (2019) for soprano and piano

1. This World is Not Conclusion [00:00-03:24]. 2. I taste a liquor never brewed [03:28-05:42]. 3. Wild Nights! [05:44-08:18]

This three-song-cycle for soprano voice and piano was completed in March 2019 during the composer's artist residency at Willapa Bay AiR, Washington. These art songs are a setting of three poems by American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The selected poems, as well as elements of the musical settings, reflect the influence and congruence of the American Transcendentalism Movement in the mid-19th century. Performed here by soprano Claire Vangelisti and pianist Richard Seiler during a festival of Music of Douglas Hedwig at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

[Dickinson poetry Permissions Granted, Harvard University Press, 2019.]

5. Fanfare Alegre: Dia de la Fiesta (2018) for symphony orchestra (*midi-recording)

Composed in 2018 in honor of the 2018 National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S.A., Fanfare Alegre: Dia de la Fiesta is more of a short tone poem or concert overture than an outright fanfare. Highly programmatic and rather cinematic in style, it musically relates the story of a Mexican village on the day of an important festival. It was commissioned by the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra (Chattanooga, Tennessee) which premiered the work in September 2018 conducted by Kayoko Dan, Music Director.

Imagine yourself in a small Mexican village just before dawn, on the day of an important fiesta. You hear the chirping of crickets. As the sun begins to rise, the imposing shape of an ancient temple emerges against the brightening sky. The light builds and intensifies until suddenly the sun appears and a fanfare signals the beginning of the celebration. Crowds gather in the central square. The band begins to play and people start dancing. Then a church bell sounds and there is a momentary pause as the village priest arrives to offer a blessing. When he has finished, the festivities recommence, sweeping the padre and the entire community into the wild celebration. With building energy and drive, the work concludes with a final statement of the primary fanfare theme.

[*NOTE: This recording is a "mock-up" midi recording as a live concert recording is not yet available for publication.]

6. ONYX (2007/2015) for brass quintet

Onyx was composed for the 1st Annual President’s Concert at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and premiered at the Walt Whitman Theater in Brooklyn on April 26, 2007. It was revised in 2015. The work is based on a 12-tone row and utilizes various permutations of the primary pitch-set. Written in a modified-serial style with tonal centers emerging from time to time at cadences, this brief fanfare-like composition is brought to conclusion with a driving rhythmic energy. Onyx is published by Carl Fischer Music.

7. Its Soul of Music Shed (2005/2016) for solo flugelhorn & narrator

Premiered at the 2005 International Trumpet Guild Conference, Bangkok, Thailand; performed by the composer. Originally composed in 2005, it was significantly revised in 2016. This composition is inspired by two poems: “The Old Mail Horn” (1875), by Birch Reynardson, and “Kurze Fahrt” (‘Brief Journey’), by Joseph Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff (1788-1857). Both poems describe an earlier time when the sound of the posthorn, coach horn and postal-trumpet was a regular and welcome feature of everyday life throughout Europe. This recording was performed by Eric Siereveld, flugelhorn and narrator Matthew James during a festival of Music of Douglas Hedwig at the University of Louisiana at Monroe in February 2020. Its Soul of Music Shed is published by Hickman Music Editions.  

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