Two Ballads

(Richard Leach)

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: soprano, clarinet, viola, cello, piano

Duration: 8 minutes

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Program Notes

I confess to being a reluctant Facebook user. Its impact on the world is, I’m afraid, largely for the worse. But, then there’s the door it opens to an entire world of chance meetings of like-minded people, for good reasons. In this instance, it brought a message from Connecticut poet and collage artist Richard Leach and the arrival of a packet of books of his poems. Several of the books, including the ones from which I drew the poems for Two Ballads, were collaborations between Richard and Lebanese artist Hanan Kazma, where each poem is paired, on a facing page, with one of Hanan’s photographic images. They are beautiful books.

Looking through the books, I wound up selecting two poems that were metrically similar, in the form of four verse ballads, which I thought would make a good musical pairing.

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