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John Adams' "Harmonium"


Ian Macmillan
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I was interested to see in one of today's links that Charles Barker, conductor at ABT and Pittsburgh Ballet, thought John Adam's "Harmonium" to be the most challenging piece he has encountered:

 

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/theater-dance/person-of-interest-charles-barker-ballet-music-director-631399/

 

Having sung it once about three years ago, I think I've an inkling of what he means. Till starting with it, I'd never have guessed how awkward it would be to keep one's place in a score when you're chanting a fast-tempo, repeating note to "No, no , no, no......" And it's the only score that I recall with 'check marks' at a few points for the conductor to indicate to one and all where things have got to, in case anyone has got wandered, and thus making it even more important for the conductor to be right!

 

Challenging, indeed - and highly recommended!

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