Music of John Harbison
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL313     Release Date: 2010-10-15
Cantata Singers and Ensemble; Jane Bryden, soprano; D'Anna Fortunato, mezzo-soprano; Karl Dan Sorensen, tenor; Mark Baker, bass; Rose Mary Harbison, violin; Erica Miner, violin; Betty Hauck, viola; Jay Humeston, cello; Benjamin Carriel, percussion; William Wiley, percussion; John Harbison, Conductor; Helen Harbison, electric cello; Albert Regni, tenor saxophone; Robert D. Levin, electric organ; The Wheaton Trio; Nancy Cirillo, violin; Jay Humeston, cello; Victor Rosenbaum, piano


About his music, John Harbison writes:

“I had long contemplated setting some of Blake's short poems to music, but given their finality and completeness, and their intense private meaning to each reader, I maintained a healthy wariness. Through my experience conducting the Cantata Singers and Ensemble, particularly in Schütz's music, a choral approach to the poems suggested itself. I began to hear them as incantation, response, or litany, in many kinds of vocal combination. A timely request for some music by Craig Smith, music director at Emmanuel Church, Boston, resulted in these Five Songs Of Experience.

“The calls for regeneration and reconciliation in the poems required a welcome effort to get back to beginnings and to be as inclusive, as little time-bound, as possible. The apparent simplicity, transparency, and subdued rhetoric of the poems suggested the creation of apparently-simple rhythms and harmonies - an approach I had been intending to take for some time. This tendency continues in a full-length opera based on Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, now in progress.”

Bermuda Triangle is the third and final part of December Music, a series of pieces based on an old cantus firmus (appearing most clearly here in the final soap-opera organ passages). All three of the pieces in the series reflect my early experience as a jazz musician, this one more than the others. The first piece of December Music, Parody — Fantasia, is recorded on CRI SD 293 by Robert Miller...

Trio was conceived as a lyric intermezzo to be played at concerts by this arch-19th century combination. It draws on the sound of both the classical trio and the restaurant trio.



This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available 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).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

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Various Artists

Music of John Harbison

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Track Listing

Five Songs of Experience: I. Introduction
John Harbison
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Five Songs of Experience: II. Earth's Answer
John Harbison
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Five Songs of Experience: III. Ah! Sun-flower
John Harbison
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Five Songs of Experience: IV. The Voice of the Ancient Bard
John Harbison
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Five Songs of Experience: V. A Divine Image
John Harbison
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Bermuda Triangle
John Harbison
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Trio
John Harbison
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