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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

Sample Pages

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,08/04/2014
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,01/01/0001
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