Academic journal article Journal of Singing

BARBER, SAMUEL (1910-1981). HERMIT SONGS, Op. 29

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

BARBER, SAMUEL (1910-1981). HERMIT SONGS, Op. 29

Article excerpt

BARBER, SAMUEL (1910-1981). HERMIT SONGS, Op. 29. New edition. High and Low Voice volumes. Edited by Richard Walters. G. Schirmer, Inc., 2014 (Hal Leonard Corporation). This new edition of Barber's Hermit Songs contains an excellent introduction, giving much information about the composition of the songs, Barber's search for the right singer to premiere them at the Library of Congress in October of 1953, their poor reception at the Twentieth-Century Music Conference in Rome in 1954, and their enduring worth (while no one remembers the other works lauded at the Roman conference). Soprano Leontyne Price sang the first performance at the Library of Congress, with Barber at the piano, and many future performances, including the one in Rome. They became a staple of her recital programs during her long career.

The quality of aloneness in these songs reflects Barber's preference for solitude and the silence of living in the country where he could compose without the noise and distractions of the city. …

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