Bridgewater (Romantic Idyll)

Stephen Hough (1961)

Bridgewater (Romantic Idyll) 2017


I lived no more than a few miles away from the Bridgewater Canal for most of my life until my late-thirties and I have gone for countless walks along its narrow banks. This piece was written at the request of Graham Salvage, the principal bassoonist of the Hallé Orchestra, and as that orchestra’s Bridgewater Hall is named after the canal on whose banks it was built, it seemed an appropriate way to combine the music’s pastoral spirit with the professional home of its dedicatee.

Two ideas appear in the opening bassoon melody, one distorted and one fragmented. The piece gradually resolves the first and completes the second of these as it builds up to and winds down from a climactic cadenza to its final rapt conclusion.

Stephen Hough


Version for bassoon and piano also available.

20.7.17 St John's Church, Waterloo, London: Andres Yauri Andoquia (bassoon) / Southbank Sinfonia / Simon Over