Hilary Tann - First Light: A Meditation on Beethoven, op. 96: I
“First Light” was commissioned by Rhyl Music Club on behalf of Gwyneth Peters with support from Tŷ Cerdd and PRS Foundation: Women Making Music.
First performance: Rhyl Music Club, Wales, UK, March 20, 2019, Mary Hofman and Richard Ormrod
Duration: circa 12 minutes 45 seconds
The composer writes:
"I was immediately attracted to this challenge [of reflecting and responding to the Beethoven sonatas and to help audiences listen anew to contmporary music] and chose Beethoven’s last sonata, Op. 96, as my “muse”. The first movement of this sonata shows Beethoven’s lyrical and contemplative side. The opening four-note figure (with trill) has given the movement the nickname “The Cockcrow”. The nickname led to the “First Light” idea and the composition parallels Beethoven’s movement in form (sonata form), texture (echoing figures in both instruments), and pacing (contemplative/meditative). The opening four-note figure is prominent in the first theme; the second theme provides a third-based contrast; the codetta theme echoes the contours of Beethoven’s theme."