On October 13, at Zipper Hall at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, as part of the Piano Spheres Concert Series Gloria Cheng premieres John Harbison's new piano solo, Leonard Stein Anagrams, commissioned by Piano Spheres and donors to the Memorial Fund for its founder, Leonard Stein.
Leonard Stein from pianospheres.org
Leonard Stein, Arnold Schoenberg's personal assistant, was ecumenical in his musical interests and befriended most of the world's leading composers, conducting and performing their music throughout his career. After his retirement in 1991 from the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, Stein founded the concert series Piano Spheres.
Stein passed away in 2004. For Harbison, composing this new work was "a privilege, melancholic and joyful...a chance to reflect on a rich twenty-year friendship...Just his voice on the phone could make the day — when he called to celebrate his mutual birthday with Rose Mary Harbison, or just to report west-coast news, with his unique blend of enthusiasm and skepticism."
While appearing one year at Harbison's Token Creek Festival in Wisconsin, Stein was happy to discover Harbison's tradition of making anagrams from names of the summer's composers and performers. When Harbison began writing this new work he found, in Stein's hand, six anagrams he had created based on his own name. Harbison has used all six as well as 7 others that Harbison penned as titles for the short movements. There are no letter-to-pitch correspondences, simply reactions to the titles and "fleeting images of Leonard, present to absent."
1. I'd learn tones
2. Note slid near
3. End tonal rise
4. Liar, send tone!
5. Listen, a drone (A silent drone)
6. Learns to dine
7. LA trend: noise
8. Rise tone, lad!
9. Linen ear-dots
10.Tender as lion
11.Rest: no denial
12. Earns toil-end
12A. Done: entrails
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