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Harris's 13th


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Author Topic: Harris's 13th  (Read 2041 times)
suffolkcoastal
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« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2013, 08:24:06 pm »

I don't think Harris's 12th Symphony is that bad at all. It is somewhat uneven, however there is some fine imaginative writing in the work, it is just a pity he reused parts of the 8th Symphony earlier on in the piece. I agree that the 13th Symphony is poor, Harris was trying to draw attention to the US's less than perfect record on race up to the 1960's, and the suffering of black people in 'the land of the free', sadly with his mental faculties already failing, he just wasn't up to the task. The 11th Symphony I've long admired, though the two recordings I have, including the recent one on Albany, don't quite do the work justice (the Albany is short on strings and there are a couple of errors).
I've a number of of off-air tapes I would like to upload to this site when I get my tape-mp3 converter. A work like the 1st Piano Concerto might surprise some listeners, its light and rather jazzy, the Piano Trio and 1st String Quartet are fine works, and the String Quintet though perhaps over-ambitious is also very fine. There is also the setting of St Francis's Canticle of the Sun for coloratura soprano & chamber orchestra (from which some of the material of the 8th Symphony is taken) which is quite ecstatic. Harris wrote a number of lighter works, which I don't have and would love to hear and which should be recorded to show that he had a lighter side.
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