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Compositions by Robin Holloway
Transcriptions by Robin Holloway
Domination of Black, op. 23
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The symphonic poem, Domination of Black, like Evening with Angels, takes a little from Wallace Stevens and contains "suppressed vocalizations" that include amidst much else a snatch of Tennyson.  Maybe the ultra-romantic programme should also have been suppressed!?)  It also quarries Schumann for the last time:  but the source, seven from the twelve Kerner Lieder making his op. 35, is far more remote:  the greater part of the invention is new, and the original song-shapes are dissolved into free forms of enormous size. 

After shy Schumann, unembarrassed Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler, Strauss:  the opportunity to write for the full romantic symphony orchestra gave an "Open Sesame" in the most natural way imaginable to the idiom of its greatest flourishing — not, of course, as pastiche;  rather in acknowledgement of this rich, revered terrain as starting point for new journeys. 

The extracts (Diptych, and its two panels separately) were made to help refloat the huge vessel, and have been performed now and then (most notably in a Munich Musica Viva concert, when this ardent homage to the romantic peaks of its musical culture was received with hefty Teutonic boos).  The complete work has only had one subsequent performance, for which a "brief but coruscating eruption" for the Albert Hall organ was removed, the harmony of the preceding climactic stretch cleaned up, and some tucks made elsewhere. 

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