Three Inevitable Songs
for Mezzo-soprano, flute, viola and harp (2014)
by Ron Hannah


   1.   Credo - E.A. Robinson
   2.   A Decade - Amy Lowell
   3.   A Ballade of the Mulberry Road - Ezra Pound

Duration: about 10 minutes

    Why "inevitable"? After a lengthy, frustrating, worrisome, fulfilling lifetime, I have married someone who is as like me as I think two people can be. Both of us passionate about music, both having been so from an early age, both curious to know everything there is to know and do all there is to do (I am writing this page in Armenia, where we are working together on a musical project), both very different from our respective backgrounds and society. I have complained elsewhere in this website about having had the feeling of not really belonging on this planet, and I think Andrea is the same. Also, she is a soprano, I am a composer - does that answer the question of inevitability?

 Download the Score 

Hear a performance
of #2 "A Decade"

     Lest you think I have entered a period, à la Schumann when he married Clara, of fever-pitched song writing, this is not quite the case. Two of the songs are in fact re-workings of older pieces, and the instrumental scoring reflects my having been introduced to a chamber group in Vienna whose members play flute, viola and harp respectively. The first and second, "Credo" and "A Decade", first appeared in Songs of Myself, in arrangements that already made use of the viola and a medium voice (one even features a harp already), so the transformation is not all that extreme. Such self-plagiarism is not, I think, unexpected. After all, we are both well-worn, full of experience, on our second marriages, demanding little and receiving much from one another. These songs have been around the block too, in fact "A Decade" was woven into my incidental music to A Sea Liturgy with words to the Lord's Prayer interpolated into it, in which choral form it can be seen here. The third, "A Ballade of the Mulberry Road" is new. The entire set was premiered in December of 2015 at my 70th birthday concert, with Andrea singing beautifully, as usual (see the link in the box).

     If I may digress a little, if you have looked about this site you may have noticed a number of vocal and choral works based on poetry of Amy Lowell - #2, A Decade, in this set being one of them (to hear Andrea sing it, and some other vocal music of mine, please click on the "Listen" button). Amy Lowell is MY poet, and for a complete list of all the music I have written on her poetry, please click on this link. You will find works for voice and for choir with chamber and orchestral accompaniment.

          The full score of Three Inevitable Songs may be obtained by clicking on the "Download" button above left. If you wish to receive the separate parts, please send me an email or visit the Canadian Music Centre.

     I ask you, if you perform this set, that you inform me so that I can keep this website up-to-date, and that you not give it to other conductors or interested parties but rather tell them to visit the website to get it. I have many other works that they might discover and that might be of interest to them.