Hilda Paredes

(b. 1957)

mode 60

The Seventh Seed


mode 60 HILDA PAREDES, “The Seventh Seed”; A chamber opera to a libretto by Karen Whiteson; Lourdes Ambriz, soprano; John Oakley-Tucker, baritone; with The Arditti Quartet; Steven Schick: percussion; Virginia Sublett: soprano, Carol Plantamura: mezzo-soprano; Issac Langen: tenor; Rand Steiger: conductor. Permutaciones for solo violin, 2 versions (Irvine Arditti).

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The Seventh Seed

A chamber opera to a libretto by Karen Whiteson
Lourdes Ambriz, soprano
John Oakley-Tucker, baritone
The Arditti Quartet
Steven Schick, percussion
Virginia Sublett, soprano
Carol Plantamura, mezzo-soprano
Issac Langen, tenor
Rand Steiger, conductor

Permutaciones for solo violin
performed by Irvine Arditti (mode 32, 37)

Hilda Paredes is among the foremost younger-generation Mexican composers. Schooled in London where she now lives, Paredes studied with Harrison Birtwistle, Franco Donatoni and Peter Maxwell-Davies.

Receiving a commission from the Arts Council of Great Britain for a chamber opera and working together with British poet Karen Whiteson, Paredes composed The Seventh Seed centered around the Persephone legend with allusions to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Lookinglass. The action takes place in a contemporary basement flat full of an enormous variety of artifacts from all ages and cultures; everything covered in dust. This is Pluto’s world, where he has the task of cataloging these items. Persephone, who cannot remember her past, has fallen there through a rabbit hole and serves as Pluto’s maid. If Pluto can seduce her to eat the seven pomegranate seeds, Persephone will become permanently enslaved to the Underworld.

The Arts Council commission required the use of modest forces–scored for soprano and baritone with a small chorus. The rich instrumental fabric is woven by string quartet with percussion. This recording was made by the international forces assembled for its U.S. premiere in San Diego–the Arditti Quartet and percussionist Steven Schick, with Mexican soprano Lourdes Ambriz and British baritone John Oakley-Tucker, and California E.A.R. Unit co-founder Rand Steiger.

Permutaciones’ structure is partly determined by the composer and partly left to the choice of the performer. Fixed sections of the piece are joined by several “possible” links which vary in rhythmic intensity–the choices made for these links produce very different dramatic shapes for the work. Two realizations of Paredes’ Permutaciones for solo violin complete the disc, performed by Irvine Arditti.

The authoritative performances were recorded in the presence of the composer. Liner notes by former Arditti Quartet second violinist David Alberman and full libretto included.


Also by Irvine Arditti and The Arditti Quartet on Mode Records:
John Cage: Freeman Etudes, Books 1 & 2 (mode 32), Books 3 & 4
(mode 37)
Two4 – versions for violin & piano and sho & piano – with Mayumi
Miyata and Stephen Drury (mode 88)
The Works for Violin 4 – Six Melodies; Nocturne; Two6; Eight
Whiskus; One10 – with Stephen Drury (mode 100)
String Quartets Vol. 1 (mode 17) and Vol. 2 (mode 27)
Five3 (mode 75)
The Works for Violin 5 (mode 118)
Chaya Czernowin: String Quartet (mode 77)
Peter Maxwell-Davies: String Quartet #1 (mode 59)
Alvin Lucier: Navigations for Strings; Small Waves (mode 124)
Gerard Pape: Vortex (mode 26)
Le Fleuve du Desir (mode 67; mode 98/99)
Bernadette Speach: Reflections (mode 105)
The Arditti Quartet: Mexico – New Music for Strings (mode 165)

Also by Hilda Paredes on Mode Records:
Hilda Paredes: Listen How They Talk: Chamber Music 1998-2001
(mode 149)
The Arditti Quartet: Mexico – New Music for Strings (mode 165)

Also with Steven Schick on Mode Records:
Roger REYNOLDS: Watershed (mode 70, DVD only)
Iannis XENAKIS: Xenakis Percussion Works (mode 171-173)

Espacios Intemporales for saxophone quartet (2017) — SIGMA Project (mode 331)

Señales —Señales, “Homenaje a Jonathan Harvey” for violin & ensemble (Irvine Arditti, violin. Ensemble Signal/Brad Lubman); Páramo de voces for piano & tape (Alberto Rosado, piano); Intermezzo malinconico for bass clarinet solo (Adrián Sandi); Homenaje a Remedios Vario; Recuerdos del Porvenir (ensemble recherche) (mode 292)

Hilda Paredes Profile
Hilda Paredes Web Site
Irvine Arditti Profile
The Arditti Quartet Profile
Arditti Quartet Web Site