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The German poet Rilke has long been a favourite of both Ross and his wife, Barbro, who first drew his attention to the poems. In describing the work, Harris comments: "The world my settings evoke is romantic, nostalgic, angst ridden; qualities which suit so well Susan's voice and temperament. They are a little bit Mahlerian I suppose; some people say Webern, but I don't really think so, although they are a little bit fragmentary. I wrote them so quickly that they just follow the text. Whatever I do, I always write lines. All the music is linear, whatever the style. Even the chord progressions are going to be linear, whether harmony is important or not. This means the music is goal oriented, even if the goal is never reached; which is actually quite good for expressing what Rilke is about."
Written for Susan Roper, Marina Sturm and Carolyn Mills
Klage I; Klage II; Herbsttag
Text by Rainer Maria Rilke
12 May 2012: La Harpe de Melodie - SMP Ensemble
Performed by Susan Roper (soprano), Patrick Barry (clarinet) and Caroline Mills (harp)