Donald Harris: For the Night to Wear
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR666     Release Date: 2007-01-01
Cleveland Chamber Symphony; Edwin London, conductor; Janice Meyerson, mezzo-soprano; Boston Musica Viva, Richard Pittman, conductor: (Renée Krimsler, flute and alto flute; William Wrzesien, clarinet and alto clarinet; Robert Annis, bass clarinet, Nancy Cirillo, violin and viola; Mary Ruth Ray, viola; Ron Lowry, cello, Hugh Hinton, piano); Veronica Jochum, piano; Lucy Shelton, soprano; The Ohio State University Faculty Ensemble. Craig Kirchhoff, conductor: (Kathryn Borst Jones, flute and alto flute; Dan Lochrie, clarinet and bass clarinet; Michael Davis, violin and viola; William Conable, cello; Rosemary Platt, piano); Composers String Quartet: (Matthew Raimondi, Anahid Ajemian, violins; Jean Dupouy, viola; Michael Rudiakov, cello); Paul Zukofsky, violin; Gilbert Kalish, piano; St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Hodkinson, conductor

The nine compositions on this CD represent a cross-section of my work for solo instruments, voice, and chamber ensemble, spanning a period of nearly four decades, roughly divided between instrumental and vocal music. The first, Mermaid Variations, was completed in 1992; the last three, Fantasy for Violin and Piano (1957), all date from my formative years. In between are three works from the late seventies, For the Night to Wear, Balladen, Of Hartford in a Purple Light, followed by two from the eighties, Les Mains and Pierrot Lieder.

What they have in common, I think, is that all are soloistic, brief or compact, and structurally condensed while harmonically and rhythmically complex. Only one is twelve- tone or serial, the earliest, the Fantasy for Violin, but understandably so since it dates from the 1950s, when most young composers were experimenting with these and other techniques that required pre-compositional thought.

This one exception notwithstanding, my customary modus operandi is intuitive. There are no sketches for any of my works, nor are there preconceived structural plans. Each was composed from beginning to end, one measure or phrase leading to another, with only my inner ear as a guide. My intent consistently has been to be expressive without the constraint of formal or structural rigidity. And just as there has been no systematic attempt to use pre-compositional techniques, there also has been no conscious attempt to avoid tonality, in spite of the heavy reliance on chromaticism, avoidance of octave doublings, and the use of freely derived twelve-tone harmonic rhythm, that could lead the listener to think otherwise. On the contrary, the basic underlying structure of my music is still secured by its dependence on harmonic (or tonal) interrelationships that dictate its ebb and flow...
—Donald Harris


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Donald Harris: For the Night to Wear

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Mermaid Variations
Donald Harris
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For The Night to Wear
Donald Harris
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Balladen
Donald Harris
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Of Hartford in a Purple Light
Donald Harris
Buy
Les Mains
Donald Harris
Buy
Pierrot Lieder: I. Der Koch
Donald Harris
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Pierrot Lieder: II. Nordpohlfahrt
Donald Harris
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Pierrot Lieder: III. Selbstmord
Donald Harris
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String Quartet
Donald Harris
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Fantasy for Violin and Piano
Donald Harris
Buy
Ludus
Donald Harris
Buy