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VIV 934


A Love Sumpreme for SSAA,Woodwind Quintet and Piano

Cheryl Walker’s beautiful poem, A Love Supreme, provides the inspiration and text for this composition for women's voices. Walker’s evocative words create several diverse sections that weave in and out of each other often returning with more intensity. A plain chant for solo voice sets the tone for “ A love supreme sanctified and pure,” and reminds us through music of the joy of unconditional love.  The chant returns, each time higher and more ecstatic.  The woodwinds introduce the soaring lyricism of “Anointed by Holy Ghost’s healing.”  The gently lilting section in combinations of 6/8 and 12/8 meters underlay “She is sanctified and free, on a blues-licked freedom voyage.” This is followed by a syncopated and rhythmic section for “Fervently awaiting a laying on hands.”  A fugal rendition for voices based on the familiar hymn, Amazing Grace, portrays “She’s there in an amazing grace circle, how sweet the sound.” A joyous fugue for the winds follows, also based on Amazing Grace.  Several themes return briefly before the circle is completed with the beginning words “A love supreme sanctified and pure” and the final refrain, “Her liberation is at hand.” A Love Supreme for SSAA, Woodwind Quintet and Piano
VIV 934, 50 pages, $34.95, full score and parts
VIV 934B, 17 pages, $2.70, choral part


Click here to view a page of the score.

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A Brief Bio of the Composer

Barbara Harbach has a large catalog of works, including symphonies, opera, string orchestra, musicals, works for chamber ensembles, film scores, modern ballets, organ, harpsichord, piano, choral anthems, and many arrangements for brass and organ of various Baroque works. She is also involved in the research, editing, publication and recording of manuscripts of eighteenth-century keyboard composers as well as historical and contemporary women composers. Her work is available in both recorded and published form through MSR Classics, Naxos Records, Gasparo Records, Kingdom Records, Albany Records, Northeastern Records, Hester Park, Robert King Music, Elkan-Vogel, Augsburg Fortress, Agape Music and Vivace Press. Harbach is also the editor of the journal, Women of Note Quarterly.

“Harbach’s music astonished me for its heavy reliance on the lyric and the beautifully (and cogently) framed melodic line. I could listen to her music for hours.” American Record Guide ~ March / April 2008. “ Harbach has distinguished herself as one of the preeminent American composers of any generation.” All Music Guide ~ December 2007.

Harbach has toured extensively as both concert organist and harpsichordist and her lively performances and recordings have captured the imagination of many American composers, and the body of work written for and dedicated to Harbach is substantial. Musical America has called her “nothing short of brilliant,” and Gramophone has cited her as an “acknowledged interpreter – and, indeed, muse – of modern harpsichord music.” She was host of the weekly television music series Palouse Performance seen throughout the Inland Northwest.

Currently professor of music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she holds academic degrees from Pennsylvania State University (B.A.), Yale University (M.M.A.), Musikhochschule (Konzertdiplom) in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.). In 2002, Harbach received an honorary doctorate in music, honoris causa, from Wilmington College, Ohio for her lifetime achievement as a composer, performer, editor and publisher.

Barbara Harbach initiated Women in the Arts-St. Louis, a celebration of the achievements of women creators. The over 800 events by various cultural organizations in the St. Louis region provided audiences with new and historical examples of the work of women writers, composers and artists. In 2006 for her work Women in the Arts-St. Louis she was the recipient of the Arts Education Award from the Missouri Arts Council; the Missouri Citizen for the Arts Award; the Yellow rose Award from the Zonta International Club of St. Louis; the UM-St. Louis College of Fine Arts and Communication, Faculty Excellence Award; and in 2007 she was awarded the Hellenic Spirit Foundation Award.


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