Harbison and Network

I’ll be picking up John Harbison at the Philadelphia airport tomorrow as he begins his visit in connection with the concerts, talks, and workshops that Network for New Music is offering. The concerts will be on Friday, April 4, 8 pm, at Temple University’s Rock Hall; and Sunday, April 6, 7:30 pm, this time at the Curtis Institute. Go here for more complete information.

My new piece, Meditation on Amazing Grace, will be on the Friday program – here is my program note on the piece:

My reflection on this familiar tune is rather darker than the version I used to sing to my twins as a lullaby: here I have cast the piece in minor, and framed it with harmonies that imply a key, but not that of the melody. After an introduction, the trumpet takes us through one verse, followed by a repeated and expanded version of the introduction now serving to accompany fragments and embellishments of the melody.

The troubled light I have shone upon the tune was purely a musical thought; but perhaps it has to do with theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s contention that there is no such thing as “cheap grace”.

I posted the first two Network videos previewing the Friday concert here; Uri Caine and Terrell Stafford are featured in the third:


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