Vic Hoyland

The Attraction of Opposites

Performed by Henry Brown and Paquito Ernesto Chiti at Salon Prima Materia on the 25th September 2016, San Quirico, Montespertoli, Firenze.

for piano duo

Commissioned by the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo

30’ 00” duration 2004
ISMN M 57020 725 1

1st Performance

(UK) The Barber Institute, Birmingham, 28 April 2006
Further performances in Germany and USA (promotional CD available)


Putting the Vic into conviction

“A 20th century sampler” – Vic Hoyland is completely open about the ancestry of his The Attraction of Opposites. This candour colours every bar of the piece, a three-movement sonata for piano duet whose premiere – given by the Bugallo-Williams Piano Duo – was in every sense the climax of this recital.

Hoyland admits to his debt to a whole pantheon of modern masters. But what begins as a spot-the-influence – a Bartok ostinato here, a burst of Messiaen birdsong there – acquires a much stronger sense of purpose, as Hoyland expands his material into evermore imposing forms. This is music of big sonorities, confident gestures and powerful invention.

Helen Bugallo and Amy Williams tackled it with total conviction and a seemingly limitless tonal palette. Whether clattering xylophones, exchanging muted chords or rising to the brilliant coup-de-theatre with which Hoyland closes the first movement, they gave what must be the premiere of a composer’s dreams.

Hoyland’s work dominated the evening. It is a rather impressive achievement, appearing as it did on the same bill as Stravinsky.

Richard Bratby, Birmingham Post, 28 April 2006

Held by