Sydney Hodkinson composer
Barry Snyder piano
Boyd Jones organ
Composer Sydney Hodkinson’s second Navona Records release, A KEYBOARD ODYSSEY, is a journey through the world of the solo keyboard, exploring the versatility and spirit of both the piano and organ through the composer’s perceptive style.
Mini-Rag, for Right Hand Alone is a playful rag-style miniature, paying tribute to Minnie Mouse as well as Scott Joplin and other ragtime players. Organmusic, a set of six “tableaux” for organ, presents ironic musical characters with liturgical, plainchant, and secular themes. Like much of the album, the two pieces from Snapshots – a collection of “crumbs” from a larger keyboard work – illustrate Hodkinson’s penchant for compositional diversity. The movement “…a strange dream” is impressionistic, with moments that blend ambiguity and clarity, while “…a faded dance” is reminiscent of a waltz from a past era. The compositions travel through various time periods and genres yet clearly maintain a creative and postmodern signature that is recognizable in Hodkinson’s works.
After receiving degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, Sydney Hodkinson has been on the faculty of several institutions during his 55-year teaching career, currently holding the Almand Chair of Music Composition at Stetson University. He has also served as Composer-in-Residence and faculty conductor at Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival and School for fifteen years.