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John Harbison

Publisher: AMP

Fourteen Fabled Folksongs (1992)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Mixed Ensemble
Year Composed
12 Minutes
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Programme Note
John Harbison Fourteen Fabled Folksongs (1992)
Composer Note:

I wanted to give Marimolin something they didn't have. The title came first, a nice alliteration - "fabled" as in the dictionary definition "mythical, legendary, having no real existence." I wrote about twenty, then did the real composing, into a sequence of character pieces.

I imagine Marimolin, in their originality of design, their enterprise, their resourceful musicianship, as having a kinship with street musicians. My piece would be at home in both the subway station and the concert hall. I also conceive it as suitable, in its modest technical demands, for some junior Marimba-style duo, who would transpose up the passages designed for Nancy Zeltsman's marimba gigantica.

— John Harbison

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There was no voice in Fourteen Fabled Folksongs (1992), played by violinist Hirono Oka and marimba player Angela Nelson, but an abundance of wit. ... The set is a series of short puzzles, designed to match titles to musical cues."
Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer,4/8/2014
FOURTEEN FABLED FOLKSONGS [are] short pieces in various folk veins that are enlivened by many touches to delight connoisseurs of compositional technique.
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe,1/1/0001
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