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John Harbison

Publisher: AMP

Mottetti di Montale (1980)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Solo Voice(s) and up to 6 players
Year Composed
56 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Mezzo Soprano [=soprano]

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Programme Note
John Harbison Mottetti di Montale (1980)
4 August 1981
Janice Felty, mezzo-soprano
Edward Auer, piano
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Santa Fe, NM

Mottetti di Montale are twenty poems by the Italian poet and Nobel Prize-winner, Eugenio Montale, arranged into four "Books" from Le Occasioni.

During the twenty years that followed the premiere, Harbison orchestrated three groups of the poems for mezzo-soprano and ensemble. The groups may be performed separately or together:
Book 1
La Primavera di Sottoripa
Mz; 1(pic).1(ca).1(bcl).0/1000/hpd/str (

Book 2
Il Saliscendi Bianco (The White Swallow)
Mz; 1(pic).1.1(bcl).0/1000/org/str (

Books 3 and 4
Due Libri
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Mottetti di Montale
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Sample Pages

  • Soloist(s)
    Janice Felty (Mezzo Soprano), Judith Gordon (Piano)
    Albany Records:
Harbison's complete Mottetti di Montale [is] his breakthrough masterpiece of 1980. The cycle is a modern Winterreise, set in a bright Italian landscape, and [the] music is endlessly inventive in its responsiveness to detail in the text, endlessly subtle in its reflection of emotion. The piece is paralyzingly direct yet simultaneously distanced.
Richard Dyer, Boston Globe,1/1/0001
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