Mermaid Variations

Donald Harris

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Mermaid Variations was composed during the summer of 1992 during two residencies at YADDO, Saratoga Springs, NY, in June-July, and again in September. The title refers to an opera, The Little Mermaid, based upon an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale by the recently deceased French author, Marguerite Yourcenar, on which I have been working on and off since 1985. Nearly complete, I didn't want to interrupt its composition by the introduction of materials extraneous to the creative thought process of the larger composition. Hence I deliberately used materials from the third act, on which I am presently working [1994], as the basis for variations, sometimes playful, at other times contemplative or even stately, on harmonies and textures that might be called upon for later instrumental or vocal development in the opera.

Nonetheless, the piece stands alone. It is not part of a work in progress, but an extension of that work into the realm of the chamber orchestra. Commissioned by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, Music Director, with partial funding provided by the Ohio Arts Council's New Works Program, Mermaid Variations is a brief, lyric excursion from the full-bodied richness of the dramatic stage to the more intimate world of the chamber orchestra and solo instruments. It was first performed at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University on February 28, 1993.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Composition Date 1992
Duration 00:10:13
Orchestration 2 1 2(B.Cl.) 1 - 2 1 1 0; Timp. Str.
Premiere February 28th, 1993. Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Edwin London, conductor; Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.