Composers' Orchestra - Hollingworth: Four Nordic Riddles





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Uploaded on Mar 1, 2011

The University of Edinburgh Composers' Orchestra performing Lucy Hollingworth's 'Four Nordic Riddles'. December 2nd 2010, conducted by Professor Nigel Osborne. For more information visit http://www.composersorchestra.com/

"I started out in composition at Manchester University in the 1970s and then worked as a freelance composer and performer and very active member of 'North East New Music'. I left music altogether for a long time but I am back with a whole new set of ideas. The ideas that inspire me come from all over the place and the way they are turned into pieces is very varied. I have written avant garde string quartets, minimalist piano pieces, and improvisations for an ensemble of found instruments.

"The riddles are from the thirteenth century 'Riddles of Gestumblindi'. The orchestra are provided with sets of notes to use and instructions regarding how to deliver them. The notation is not exact. The performers work together to create their own balance. I like the freedom it gives them and so does the orchestra!"


Who are those women who weep as they go, to the joy of their fierce father? To many men they do mortal harm and will do it as long as they live.

Who are the maidens, going many together, to the fond delight of their father? Fair-haired, in hoods of white, they have never known a man.

Who are those women who so wildly run, to the joy of their fierce father? To the men they meet no mercy they show, and are kept awake by the wind.

Who are the women who hurry round the skerries then take a long trip down the firth? Their bed is hard, their hoods are white, and they cannot play in the calm.

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