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Other Minds Festival:
OM 8, Concert 2: 01 “Sonata for Harpsichord” by Lou Harrison

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 10 min
Event Type: Music Program Origin: Other Minds

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Lou Harrison's output of solo keyboard music spans his entire career, with some works he now prefers on harpsichord originally designated ‘for keyboard,' ‘for cembalo,' ‘for piano or harpsichord,' ‘for piano,' or even ‘for tack piano' (used also in mid-century as a harpsichord substitute). The opportunity to perform these works on various early keyboard instruments gives rise to creative solutions, for example, in tempo and idiomatic ornamentation. Beyond this, the attack and decay characteristics of each instrument subtly suggest which historic or occasional temperament will best support the structure and affect of each piece.

“Sonata for Harpsichord” was composed by Harrison for Linda Burman-Hall to play on the eve of 2000. It offers three contrasting moods based on modal scales: a bustling, energetic opening with inner-voice trills, a warmly lyrical central meditation, and a flamenco-tinged ‘Estampie' dance accented by exuberant cluster chords. Harrison planned the work for the Baroque well-temperament Kirnberger II, which he also used to compose his first “Concerto for Piano with Selected Orchestra” (1985). “Sonata for Harpsichord” is performed on a French double harpsichord tuned at A=415. "Linda Burman-Hall

Support for Linda Burman-Hall's appearance provided by New Albion Records

Musical Selections:  Sonata for Harpsichord (1999-2000) (9:10) / Lou Harrison
Performers:  Linda Burman-Hall, harpsichord
Genre:  New Music
Subject:  New music; Microtonal music; Sonatas (Harpsichord)
People:  Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003; Burman-Hall, Linda
Recording Date:  3/8/2002
 
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