Listening Page #53: Barbara Holm

MARCH 22, 2009

Barbara Holm: Childhood performed by The Lake String Quartet: Carol Margolis, Nanette Scott Goldman – violins, Ingrid Koller – viola, Daryl Carlson – cello

Mvt. 1 Allegro (Child’s Play)
Mvt. 2 Lento (Daydreams)
Mvt. 3 Rondo (Growing Up)


“Childhood” is a piece in three movements, written for The Lake String Quartet of Minneapolis, Minnesota. After deciding what the three movements would be about, and working on it for a couple of months, what began to emerge was an experience that reminded me of childhood.

The first movement, Allegro, is about child’s play; not parentally organized activities, but play as children do it. Flowing from one activity to the next, perhaps pausing to wonder about something or maybe being interrupted by mom checking in, then back to the play; –this movement wanders. To express this, I used a cheerful interplay of folk-song type motives, harmonies, and tonalities.

The second movement, Lento, is about daydreams. Sometimes apprehensive about the future, sometimes filled with bold dreams and plans, –this is a reverie. I used a chromatic, meditative style to try to share this mood.

The last movement, a Rondo, is about growing up; how a child’s play and dreams develop into other experiences. New ideas are presented, and previous ideas appear in somewhat new forms, and these combine and mature.


I believe that Jesus is the son of God, that he was crucified and rose from the dead. I have committed my life to him. As a disciple of the living Christ, it is my desire to continue to grow in faith, and to express his truth and love in all I do.


Barbara Anne Koenen Holm has received a BA in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1975, and a MM in Flute Performance from The Boston Conservatory in 1990.  She became interested in composition later in life, beginning studies in 1989 with Larry T. Bell of Boston. Her philosophy of music is that a composition should offer a meaningful experience to both the performer and listener.

– – –  SOLI DEO GLORIA!  – – –

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