Hototogisu

2007

children’s choir (SA divisi), piano duo

25’

Text: Bashō

Commissioned by Finchley Children’s Music Group

f.p. Finchley Children’s Music Group / Grace Rossiter, St Pancras Church, London, July 2008

Hototogisu was commissioned by Finchley Children’s Music Group for their 50th anniversary season in 2008. It sets seventeen haiku by Bashō, linking them into a seasonal cycle from Spring to Spring. There are three haiku to a season, as well as a fourth which is set as a piano interlude or prelude (in graphic notation), representing the changing of the season. At the start and end of the piece a refrain invokes the hototogisu or cuckoo, revered in Japan as the ‘bird of time’.

Hototogisu is dedicated to Finchley Children’s Music Group and its musical director, Grace Rossiter.