Rindt and Hodgson reunite

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Rindt and Hodgson reuniteThe upcoming Patrick Rindt & Friends concert will reunite the talents of Rindt, a noted pianist and burgeoning composer, and his longtime friend David Hodgson, an accomplished opera singer.

“Singing Patrick’s music is exciting. It’s exciting to learn, and it’s even more exciting that I get to share it with the community,” said Hodgson.

For Rindt’s 2017 composorial debut, he set to music a series of poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson for Hodgson to sing. For this next concert, the pair will perform “Llewellyn and the Tree,” a song cycle based on another of Robinson’s works.

“I love the way that Patrick has reordered the stanzas,” said Hodgson. “The original form was stream-of-consciousness — almost dreamlike — jumping between conflict and contemplation.

Rindt’s arrangement preserves the meaning of the poem, said Hodgson, while providing music that amplifies the emotional context of the poem.

“Together they have this sort of nuclear power that turns the poetic vehicle into a rocket ship.”

In many ways, Rindt and Hodgson have parallel stories. Both grew up in scientific communities (Rindt’s father was a China Laker, Hodgson’s was a part of the space program).

Since Hodgson moved here shortly after high school, both he and Rindt gained early acclaim within the community for achievements in their respective fields. Both left the valley to continue their studies under world-renowned teachers. Both followed their higher education by touring professionally in prestigious venues.

But eventually, both (independently) turned their focuses to the local girls they married and started families with. Their performing careers continued, but were sidelined in part by the time they invested in imparting expertise within their local studios.

The pair have been friends throughout much of those journeys, but it was not until a few years ago that their musical collaborations began in earnest.

“I can honestly say that Patrick has been a transformative figure in my life,” said Hodgson. “After I sort of settled in here, he shows up and says, ‘Hey! I wrote some songs with you in mind!’”

Hodgson said that he looked at the range and responded, “You do realize I’m a baritone, right?” Patrick responded that he heard in Hodgson’s voice hints of the fabled “heldentenor” — a mature male voice that eventually broadens to include both the rich and expressive lower register as well as the high notes of the tenor range.

“I’m looking at the wonderful, emotional stories in this music, and that is really what challenged me to find that tenor part of my voice,” said Hodgson.

“As a singer, I’m always in search of the self-actualizing process of peeling back the layers of the onion until you uncover that authentic part of your soul.

“Patrick’s music gave me the drive to do that.”

“I didn’t discover operatic tenors until I was around 20, but as soon as I heard the voice of Canadian heldentenor Jon Vickers, I became obsessed,” said Rindt.

Vickers had a long career spanning from the 1950s to the 1980s before he passed away several years ago.

“So obviously I could only dream about writing for Vickers’ voice,” said Rindt. “But then I heard David Hodgson — and I immediately heard a similar heroic and expressive quality in his voice. I couldn’t believe my luck!

“So I’m not exaggerating when I say that having David’s voice to write for is a dream come true for me.”

Hodgson said that between the technical challenges, the emotional resonance of the text and the sheer beauty of the music, it’s hard to find something more satisfying than Rindt’s compositions to sing.

“But maybe what I love most about this is how rewarding it is to be based in community. We are not running around seeking money or fame. We are making something for our families, our friends, our students, our neighbors,” said Hodgson.

“That’s so much more meaningful to me than worldly success. Even if that follows, that will always be second to being able to share this great art with my family and friends.

“Certainly, Patrick’s work deserves to be appreciated by the world. But mostly I feel grateful to be here and to have a role in it. And I can’t wait to hear what he does next!”

The concert will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17-18, in the Ridgecrest United Methodist Church. Performances will be at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

Tickets for Patrick Rindt & Friends are available at Cosner-Neipp. For more information find “Patrick Rindt” on Facebook.

Pictured: Patrick Rindt (left) and David Hodgson — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2019-08-02