• John Harbison
  • On an Unwritten Letter (No. 1 from "Montale Sketches") (2000)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • pf
  • 5 min

Programme Note

On an Unwritten Letter (Su una lettera non scritta) Dew-Drop-Falls was written for the Carnegie Hall Millennium Piano Book. The folio includes a CD with Ursula Oppens performing.

Composer note:

The title of this short piano piece is borrowed from a poem by Eugenio Montale, found in his book 'La Bufera' (1956). The piece and the poem seem, coincidentally, to share a similar atmosphere. One line reads, "The bottle from the ocean, moving between the rocky cliffs, still hasn’t reached you."

Montale returned often to this image, sometimes suggesting that it conjured up the uncertainty, patience, and fatalism involved in launching his poems.

— John Harbison