Freeing the Caged Bird for Woodwind Quintet
Freeing the Caged Bird is a four-movement tribute inspired by the literary works of four native St. Louis women who struggled to give voice to their creativity. The first movement is based on the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , by Maya Angelou, who is regarded as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. Inspired by Sara Teasdale's poem “Sunset St. Louis” the second movement evokes the swirling, twilight imagery of her poem. The third movement represents Kate Chopin’s then notorious novel The Awakening, first published in 1899. The last movement, based on Emily Hahn’s book, Hong Kong Holiday, expresses the joie de vivre of a woman who refused to accept society’s dictums.
VIV 939, 40 pages, $12.95
Click here to view a page of the score of Maya Angelou
Click here to view a page of the score of Sara Teasdale
Click here to view a page of the score of Kate Chopin
Click here to view a page of the score of Emily Hahn
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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