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Michael S. Horwood (1947-     )

Micheal S. HorwoodMichael S. Horwood's more than seventy compositions constitute a kaleidoscope of the traditional and the avant-garde, spanning a wide variety of contemporary idioms including twelve-tone, theatre pieces, electroacoustic (both live and pre-recorded), jazz, minimalism and neo-romanticism. He has written for conventional ensembles, unusual instrumental combinations and even flexible scoring.  Horwood seems content writing in any genre and, similarly, feels a composer today should be able to adapt and create in a variety of styles. From all the deliberate variety in Horwood's music, a few personal traits have tended to emerge. One of these is an acute sense of sonority, the knack of exploiting the unique ranges and timbres of his instrumental forces, whether solo or in combinations. This use of instrumental sound is occasionally coupled with an overt sense of theatricality or humour, even in his non-theatre works. Since the late 1980s, many of Horwood's compositions have returned to his original interest in Romantic period music. Thus, the growing global interest in neo-romanticism is seen by Horwood as not only welcome, but concurrent with his own creative goals. Among his most successful works have been those which involve extra-musical concepts, such as his chamber works Birds (1979) and Nervous Disorder (1988), the electroacoustic work Motility (revised 1986), and the orchestral works Amusement Park Suite (1986), National Park Suite (1991) and Symphony No. 2, "Visions of a Wounded Earth" (1995).
-  Michael Schulman

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Horwood Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre    ~ ~ ~    What's New . . .
Piece Percussionique No. 1, 6 percussionists and piano (1964; rev. 1979 & 2007)
Durations, multiple keyboards (1965)
Piece Percussionique No. 3, percussion trio (1966)
Six Pieces for Piano (1966)
Monday Afternoon, monaural tape (1966)
Microduet No. 1, oboe and bass drum (1967)
Women of Trachis, incidental music, chamber orchestra and mandolin (1966)
Microduet No. 2, flute and giro (1967)
Concerto for Double Bass and String Orchestra (1967; rev. 2003)
Piece Percussionique No. 4, percussion quartet (1967; rev. 1981)
For the Class of '71, narrator, stereo tape, large chamber ensemble, marching group and processional figures (1967)
Microduet No. 3, tuba and almglocke (1967)
Dynamite, film score, piano and percussion (1968)
The Shadow of Your Drum, 2 bass drummers (1968)
Words, narrator and chamber ensemble (1968)
 - Dimensions from Words, monaural tape (1968)
 - The Pattern from Words, monaural tape (1968)
Double Quintet, 2 wind quintets (1968; rev. 1969)
Asteroids, brass quartet (1969)
Motility, stereo tape (1969; rev. 1986)
Microduet No. 4, doublebass and suspended cymbal (1969; rev. 1981)
Two Madrigals, 12 solo singers, 3 each of SATB (1969)
Zymolysis, clarinet, vibraphone, trombone and doublebass (1970)
Piece Percussionique No. 5, 2 percussionists and stereo tape (1970)
Sextet, flute, clarinet, trombone, violin, viola and cello (1971)
Overture for Piano Player and Two Assistants (1972)
Tantrum IV, incidental music, stereo tape (1972)
Little Bow Piece, 8 percussionists with bass bows (1972)
Dog in the Manger, incidental music, flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, piano and percussion (1972)
Mathematics, incidental music, solo percussion (1972)
Six Chromosomes, orchestra (1973; rev. 2004)
5,3,4, jazz orchestra and percussion ensemble (1973)
Noah's Kiosk, incidental music, piano, percussion (1973)
Facets, narrator, large chamber ensemble and colour slides (1974)
Interphase, accordion, flute, tenor saxophone, piano and percussion (1975)
Talos IV, accordion (1975)
Andromeda, concert band (1976; rev. 1980)
... Best High Hand, variable ensemble (1978)
My Own 'Fluxus' Pieces, variable ensemble (1978)
Salut, a choreographic sketch, flute, clarinet, trombone and percussion (1978)
Microduet No. 6, tenor saxophone and ladder ratchet (1978)
Bipolarity, accordion, violin, viola and cello (1979)
Io, violin or viola and cello or doublebass (1979; rev. 1990)
Birds, piccolo, piano and colour slides (1979)
Microduet No. 7, trombone and triangle (1979)
Psalm 121, soprano and piano or female chorus and piano (1980)
Splinters, clarinet, bass clarinet, tuba, viola, double bass and percussion (1981)
Residue, tuba and vibraphone (1981)
Three Cadenzas, guitar and harpsichord (1981)
String Quartet No. 1 (1982)
Exit To Your Left, wind quintet and stereo tape (1982)
Sonata for Cello and Piano (1983; rev. 1991)
Microduet No. 8, "Armistice Music", violin and tam tam (1983)
Microduet No. 9, viola and sleigh bells (1984)
Brass-Fast, brass quintet (1984)
Three Landscapes, piano (1984)
Symphony No. 1, orchestra (1984)
Suite for Accordion and Percussion (1985)
For David and Johannes, saxophone (1985)
Amusement Park Suite, orchestra (1986)
Horizontal Tango, piano (1987)
Nervous Disorder, flute, cello and piano (1988)
Conspicuous Illustrations, string quartet and jazz quartet (1989)
Fugue for Sam, stereo or four-track tape (1989)
Postcard Carnival, processed narrating voice, piano, grinder organ, violin and audio-visual equipment (1990)
Broken Chords, piano (1990)
National Park Suite, orchestra (1991)
Symphony No. 2, "Visions of a Wounded Earth", orchestra and chorus (1995)
Symphony No. 3, "Andromeda", orchestra and obbligato tenor saxophone (1996)
Do You Live For Weekends?, chamber orchestra (1996)
Intravariations, piano and orchestra (1997)
Quartzite Dialogues, narrator and wind quintet (1999)
T + I = Ewigkeit, piano (1999)
Three Interludes, orchestra (2000)
Piano Sonata (Preludes, Elegy and Dances) (2006)
Fragments, any two instruments reading treble clef (2006)
Piece Percussionique No. 6, "Requiem", percussion quartet (2008)


WORKS BY GENRE                                                            Horwood Links     ~ top of page ~
Orchestra
Six Chromosomes, orchestra (1973; rev. 2004)
Symphony No. 1, orchestra (1984)
Amusement Park Suite, orchestra (1986)
National Park Suite, orchestra (1991)
Symphony No. 2, "Visions of a Wounded Earth", orchestra and chorus (1995)
Symphony No. 3, "Andromeda", orchestra and obbligato tenor saxophone (1996)
Do You Live For Weekends?, chamber orchestra (1996)
Three Interludes, orchestra (2000)

Band
Andromeda, concert band (1976; rev. 1980)

Soloist(s) w/Orchestra
Concerto for Double Bass and String Orchestra (1967; rev. 2003)
Symphony No. 3, "Andromeda", orchestra and obbligato tenor saxophone (1996)
Intravariations, piano and orchestra (1997)

Chorus w/Orchestra
Symphony No. 2, "Visions of a Wounded Earth", orchestra and chorus (1995)

Choral
Two Madrigals, 12 solo singers, 3 each of SATB (1969)
Psalm 121, soprano and piano or female chorus and piano (1980)

Chamber
Piece Percussionique No. 1, 6 percussionists and piano (1964; rev. 1979 & 2007)
Durations, multiple keyboards (1965)
Piece Percussionique No. 3, percussion trio (1966)
Microduet No. 1, oboe and bass drum (1967)
Microduet No. 2, flute and giro (1967)
Piece Percussionique No. 4, percussion quartet (1967; rev. 1981)
For the Class of '71, narrator, stereo tape, large chamber ensemble, marching group and processional figures (1967)
Microduet No. 3, tuba and almglocke (1967)
The Shadow of Your Drum, 2 bass drummers (1968)
Words, narrator and chamber ensemble (1968)
Double Quintet, 2 wind quintets (1968; rev. 1969)
Asteroids, brass quartet (1969)
Microduet No. 4, doublebass and suspended cymbal (1969; rev. 1981)
Zymolysis, clarinet, vibraphone, trombone and doublebass (1970)
Piece Percussionique No. 5, 2 percussionists and stereo tape (1970)
Sextet, flute, clarinet, trombone, violin, viola and cello (1971)
Little Bow Piece, 8 percussionists with bass bows (1972)
5,3,4, jazz orchestra and percussion ensemble (1973)
Facets, narrator, large chamber ensemble and colour slides (1974)
Interphase, accordion, flute, tenor saxophone, piano and percussion (1975)
... Best High Hand, variable ensemble (1978)
My Own 'Fluxus' Pieces, variable ensemble (1978)
Salut, a choreographic sketch, flute, clarinet, trombone and percussion (1978)
Microduet No. 6, tenor saxophone and ladder ratchet (1978)
Bipolarity, accordion, violin, viola and cello (1979)
Io, violin or viola and cello or doublebass (1979; rev. 1990)
Birds, piccolo, piano and colour slides (1979)
Microduet No. 7, trombone and triangle (1979)
Splinters, clarinet, bass clarinet, tuba, viola, double bass and percussion (1981)
Residue, tuba and vibraphone (1981)
Three Cadenzas, guitar and harpsichord (1981)
String Quartet No. 1 (1982)
Exit To Your Left, wind quintet and stereo tape (1982)
Sonata for Cello and Piano (1983; rev. 1991)
Microduet No. 8, "Armistice Music", violin and tam tam (1983)
Microduet No. 9, viola and sleigh bells (1984)
Brass-Fast, brass quintet (1984)
Suite for Accordion and Percussion (1985)
Nervous Disorder, flute, cello and piano (1988)
Conspicuous Illustrations, string quartet and jazz quartet (1989)
Postcard Carnival, processed narrating voice, piano, grinder organ, violin and audio-visual equipment (1990)
Quartzite Dialogues, narrator and wind quintet (1999)
Fragments, any two instruments reading treble clef (2006)
Piece Percussionique No. 6, "Requiem", percussion quartet (2008)

Percussion
Piece Percussionique No. 1, 6 percussionists and piano (1964; rev. 1979 & 2007)
Piece Percussionique No. 3, percussion trio (1966)
Piece Percussionique No. 4, percussion quartet (1967; rev. 1981)
Dynamite, film score, piano and percussion (1968)
The Shadow of Your Drum, 2 bass drummers (1968)
Piece Percussionique No. 5, 2 percussionists and stereo tape (1970)
Little Bow Piece, 8 percussionists with bass bows (1972)
Mathematics, incidental music, solo percussion (1972)
Fragments, any two instruments reading treble clef (2006)
Piece Percussionique No. 6, "Requiem", percussion quartet (2008)

Solo Instrument
Talos IV, accordion (1975)
For David and Johannes, saxophone (1985)

Piano
Durations, multiple keyboards (1965)
Six Pieces for Piano (1966)
Overture for Piano Player and Two Assistants (1972)
Three Landscapes, piano (1984)
Horizontal Tango, piano (1987)
Broken Chords, piano (1990)
T + I = Ewigkeit, piano (1999)
Piano Sonata (Preludes, Elegy and Dances) (2006)

Vocal
Psalm 121, soprano and piano; or female chorus and piano (1980)

Incidental/Film
Women of Trachis, incidental music, chamber orchestra and mandolin (1966)
Dynamite, film score, piano and percussion (1968)
Tantrum IV, incidental music, stereo tape (1972)
Dog in the Manger, incidental music, flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, piano and percussion (1972)
Mathematics, incidental music, solo percussion (1972)
Noah's Kiosk, incidental music, piano, percussion (1973)

Electronic
Monday Afternoon, monaural tape (1966)
Dimensions from Words, monaural tape (1968)
The Pattern from Words, monaural tape (1968)
Motility, stereo tape (1969; rev. 1986)
Piece Percussionique No. 5, 2 percussionists and stereo tape (1970)
Tantrum IV, incidental music, stereo tape (1972)
Exit To Your Left, wind quintet and stereo tape (1982)
Fugue for Sam, stereo or four-track tape (1989)


HORWOOD  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~
Composer's website

Horwood @ ClassicsToday
Horwood @ Edmonton Composers’ Concert Society
Horwood @ Les Amis Concerts
Horwood @ Musicians Network
Horwood @ Orchestralist
Horwood @ Tritone Press & Tenuto Publications

Streaming Audio
Horwood @ cacophonous.org
Horwood @ Canadian Music Centre/The Composer's Chair
Horwood @ composer's website (sound clips)

Recordings
Horwood @ ArkivMusic
Horwood @ ClassicsOnline

Horwood @ YouTube [none at the moment]


What's New with Michael Horwood . . .
Albany Records has announced the CD release of the complete works for percussion by Michael S. Horwood recorded by the Toronto Percussion Ensemble. Catalog number TROY1122. The CD title is "Percussionique" named after a series of percussion ensemble works Horwood composed over the past 40+ years. It includes one of his earliest compositions from the mid 1960's ("Piece Percussionique No. 1") to a specially commissioned work for the TPE and this release ("Piece Percussionique No. 6") as well as incidental music for the play "Mathematics" by the provocative Toronto playright, Hrant Alianak, and a short minimalist soundtrack (long before the style took off) to an experimental film by Discovery Network's Alan Grabelsky. As music for percussion has spanned Horwood's entire composing career, the works trace through several of his compositional styles (and changes). Like so many Albany releases, the sound is of demonstration quality.     Check it out    here


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