Hoamat — the Bavarian pronunciation of the word Heimat (“Home”) — was commissioned by the Municipal Music School in the Upper Bavarian city of Burghausen for their Lokalklang Festival. The ten movements, which make use of a rich variety of ensembles, are all playable by non-professional musicians and, as the first performance proved, can be hugely enjoyable for an audience!
I Ouverture (Unter weißblauem Himmel) depicts the Danube and a medieval feast; it is written for full orchestra.
II — the first element of a “Triptych” — is for speaker and (unpitched) choir.
III Neuschwanstein (King Ludwig of Bavaria’s famous castle) is scored for an ensemble of wind instruments.
IV and V are linked — Bavarian Spring and a song of the Danube boatmen for chamber choir, women’s choir and chamber ensemble.
VI — the second part of the “Triptych” — is a recitative for speaker, bass voice and electric guitars.
VII Burghausen (the longest castle in the world) is scored for trumpet and strings.
VIII Frauenkirche, for women’s choir, flute, piano, violins and cellos, refers to the strong Catholic tradition in Bavaria.
IX — the third part of the “Triptych” — is for speaker, strings and a plucked instrument.
X Finale, for women’s choir, chamber choir and orchestra, brings the work to a marvellous (and surprising) end.
Hoamat is a highly original work with local Bavarian colour filtered through the composer’s Chinese soul.