• John Harbison
  • Three Harp Songs (1975)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • hp
  • Tenor
  • 10 min
  • English; Gary Snyder, Michael Fried, Ian Hamilton
  • English

Programme Note

Composer note:

The composition of Three Harp Songs in May 1975 appears in retrospect to be a marking of the departure from Cambridge of my friend Michael Fried, who wrote the second poem in the set. The outer occasions were a publisher’s suggestion that I write a piece for a tour by two prominent performers (my response came after the tour was over), and my interest in learning about the harp’s special qualities (preparatory to a large orchestral piece in which it figures prominently).

Like much of the music I have written in alternation with larger pieces, the Harp Songs tend toward serenity. They are dedicated to Wassily Leontief upon his retirement as chairman of the society of fellows at Harvard University.

—John Harbison