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John Harbison

Publisher: AMP

Seven Poems of Lorine Niedecker (2015)
Work Notes
Available for performances after July 2015
Text Writer
Lorine Niedecker
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Solo Voice(s) and up to 6 players
Year Composed
11 Minutes
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Programme Note
John Harbison Seven Poems of Lorine Niedecker (2015)
Composer note:
Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970) lived much of her life beside a flooding river in a small cabin without electricity or running water. She worked small, mostly secretarial jobs. Many who knew her, did not know about her poetry.

More of a presence in England (Harrison Birtwistle made a song cycle from her poems in 1998), she is increasingly valued in the United States, with two recent biographies, and complete republication of her spare, strong-minded poems.

The Wisconsin terrain where I have done much of my work, near Token Creek, is not so different from her home-site, on Blackhawk Island near Fort Atkinson.

Seven Poems of Lorine Niedecker was composed in honor of Tanglewood's 75th anniversary. It was designed to include the participation of a long-time friend and colleague, Ursula Oppens. Previous pieces composed for her include my Parodie-Fantasie (1969) and Piano Sonata (1987). She also played the premiere performances of The Flower-Fed Buffaloes (1976) and Variations (1982).

Niedecker's poems are used with the kind permission of Bob Arnold, Literary Executor of the Estate of Lorine Niedecker.

— John Harbison

…deftly amplified the resonance of Niedecker’s richly allusive verse.
Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe,27/07/2015
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