• 3(III:pic).3(III:obda).0+3bb-cl.3(III:cbn)/0+4f-hn.0+3bb-tpt.2+btbn.1/timp.2perc/hp/str
  • 5 min 30 s

Programme Note

10th November 2010
World Premiere
London Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas Collon Cond.
Barbican Centre, London, UK

20th November 2011
Austrian Premiere | Wien Modern
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
James MacMillan Cond.
Wiener Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria

16th December 2011
RNCM Symphony Orchestra
Carlos del Cueto Cond.
Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK

14th August 2013
ustralian Premiere
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
Paul Daniel Cond.
Astor Theatre, Perth, Australia

14th November 2013
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Garry Walker Cond.
Maida Vale Studios, London, UK

8th October 2017  
Music, the Universe, and Everything
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Jonathan Bloxham Cond.
City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland

Programme Note
Often I find inspiration in nature and science, and especially in the history and myths associated with scientific phenomena. Magnetic forces are of great interest to me and in many of my works, musical material behaves as though it is being attracted and/or repelled by magnets. 

‘Solar’ can be defined as ‘of or having to do with the sun’ and, in this short work, I wanted to create a musical image of our sun, our life-force. I have tried to encapsulate the sun’s strong solar magnetic field as well as its status as an object of devotion in cultures throughout human history, in music that is often bursting with energy on the surface, but always with a slow-burning and intense core.
Emily Howard, 2010

"Solar … manages to suggest galactic power on a compact scale and sets a trajectory of inexorable slow movement that took it convincingly in a single revolution to the final bar."
Richard Fairman, The Financial Times, November 2010

"... compelling sonorities, and high-density harmonies, well constructed and strongly imagined."
Jessica Duchen, Standpoint, November 2010

"Howard showed herself to be more than just a good orchestrator of blazing images, conjuring up tension and a sense of magnetic pull."
John Allison, The Sunday Telegraph, November 2010

"a sure touch with orchestral textures"
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, November 2010

"... the ensuing slow-burn crescendo seemed tragic in its implications, a dense, barbed wall of sound ... Solar seems to despair for mankind while also being inspiring as music."
Colin Anderson, Classical Source, November 2010

 "The relationship to Magnetite was clearly audible: both Solar and Magnetite were inspired by the idea of sound as magnetic fields. Emily Howard proves her hand for theatrical moments and a cleverly devised arc of suspense. The audience received the work enthusiastically…"
www.terz.cc (Austria), November 2011

NMC Recordings Magnetite



Solar recorded by RLPO and Andrew Gourlay (NMC)