Aplvor, Denis, Irish-born English composer of Welsh descent; b. Collinstown, April 14, 1916. He studied at the Univ. of Wales (1933–34) and Univ. Coll., London (1934–39), and received training in composition from Patrick Hadley and Alan Rawsthorne in London (1937–39). He contributed articles to several books and music journals, ed. works by and wrote articles on Bernard van Dieren, and was active as a translator. ApIvor’s works can be divided into three periods: An early melodically based, chromatically inflected period, much influenced by Van Dieren and Peter Warlock through the 1950s; a second, serialist, abstract, and intellectual period until the early 1980s; and a third, recent phase of renewed simplicity. The associations he delineates via extra-musical elements, painting, etc., in various works are most ingenious.
DRAMATIC: Opera: She Stoops to Conquer, after Goldsmith (1943–47; rev. 1976–77); Yerma, after García Lorca (1955–58); Ubu roi, after Jarry (1965–66); Bouvard and Pécuchet, after Flaubert (1970). Ballet: The Goodman of Paris (1951); A Mirror for Witches (1951); Blood Wedding (1953); Veneziana (1953); Saudades (1954); Corporal Jan (1967); Glide the Dark Door Wide (1977). ORCH.: Nocturne for Strings (1938); Piano Concerto (1948; rev. 1954); 2 violin concertos (1950, 1975); 5 syms. (1952; 1963; 1978–79; 1985; 1991); Guitar Concertino (1953); Overtones, after Paul Klee’s paintings (1961–62); Triple Concerto for String Trio and String Orch. (1967); Tarot for Chamber Orch. (1968); Neumes, variations (1969); El Silencio Ondulado for Guitar and Chamber Orch. (1972); Cello Concerto (1976–77); Fantasy Concertante for Horn and Orch. (1980). CHAMBER: Violin Sonata (1944–45); Concertante for Clarinet, Piano, and Percussion (1944–45); Wind Quintet (1960); Mutations for Cello and Piano (1962); 3 string quartets (1964; 1976; 1989–90); Crystals for Percussion, Hammond Organ, Guitar, and Double Bass (1964–65); Harp, Piano, Piano-Harp (1966); Ten-String Design for Violin and Guitar (1968); Exotics Theatre for Chamber Ensemble (1972); Psycho-pieces for Clarinet and Piano (1973); Clarinet Quintet (1975); Chant Eolien for Oboe and Piano (1977); Duo Concertante for Horn and Piano (1981); Vista for Double Wind Quintet (1983); Cinquefoil, trio for Violin, Flute, and Guitar (1984); Pieces of 5 for Saxophone (1992); Saxophone Sonatina (1992); Violin Sonatina (1992); In the Landscape of Spring, septet (1993); also solo piano, organ, and guitar pieces. VOCAL: The Hollow Men, cantata after T. S. Eliot (1939; BBC, London, Feb. 21, 1950); Six Songs of García Lorca for Voice and Piano or Guitar (1945–46); Estella Marina for Chorus and Strings or Organ (1946); Thamar and Amnon for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch., after García Lorca (1953–54); Cantata, after Dylan Thomas (1960); Chorales for Chorus and Orch., after Hugh Manning (1964–65); Resonance of the Southern Flora for Chorus, Organ, and Orch., after Paul Klee (1972); Fern Hill for Tenor and 11 Instruments, after Dylan Thomas (1973); Bats for Tenor, Piccolo, Violin, and Percussion (1979); Seven Songs for Chorus and Small Orch. (1983); Love’s Season for Voice and String Quintet or Piano (1983); Majestatas Dei Ultra Stellas for Chorus and Small Orch. or Piano (1986); T. S. Eliot Songs for Voice and Piano (1994); Lady of Silences for Small Chorus and Chamber Orch., after T. S. Eliot (1994); Canzona Delle Lettere Amorose for Soprano, Baritone, Alto Saxophone, and Bass Guitar (1994); Give me your flowers, O Spring for Tenor and 2 Guitars (1996); Lamentaciones for Voice and Piano, after Garcia Lorca (1996). OTHER: Arrangement of Busoni’s Fantasia contrappuntistica for Orch. (1940; rev. 1946, 1977), other arrangements, and editions.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire