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John Harbison

Publisher: AMP

Four Occasional Pieces (1978),
Publisher
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Category
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
1978
Duration
10 Minutes
Orchestration
Availability
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Programme Note
John Harbison Four Occasional Pieces (1978),
“Four Occasional Pieces”:
1. Gospel Shout (1978)
2. Two Part Invention (1983)
3. Thankyou Notes (1982)
4. Standards*

Gospel Shout was composed as a remembrance of the young composer John Boros (1943-1973), who was at Brandies as a student and faculty member. He also taught himself to be a fine Gospel piano player, with a black group in Rome (the Folk Studio Singers). He was a buoyant and open-spirited man, and this rough paraphrase of his Gospel style is meant to celebrate those qualities. Craig Smith gave the first performance at a testimonial celebration for Reverend Al Kershaw at Emmanuel Church.

The Two Part Invention was composed as a birthday gift for Andre Previn, It is a sort of Homage to Prokofieff, a composer we both love more than is permitted in august musical society.

The Thankyou Notes, a couple hundred of them, were composed for Ed and Mary Jean Cook, our generous hosts during two weeks at the Santa Fe Chamber Festival in 1981. Mary Jean Cook is a fine keyboard player. The bell sounds that frame the piece seemed like they might sound well on her harpsichord. The first performance was by Yee-Ha Chiu of Pittsburgh.

—John Harbison

* - Movement IV, "Standards," is currently unavailable.


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