Clarke, Henry Leland

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Clarke, Henry Leland

Clarke, Henry Leland, American composer and teacher; b. Dover, N.H., March 9, 1907; d. March 30, 1992. He received training in piano, organ, and violin before pursuing his education at Harvard Univ. (M.A., 1929), where he studied composition with Hoist (1931–32; Ph.D., 1947, with a diss. on John Blow). He also studied with Boulanger at the École Normale de Musique in Paris (1929–31) and with Weisse and Luening in Bennington, Vt., and N.Y. (1932–38). Clarke taught at Bennington (Vt.) Coll. (1936–38), Westminster Choir Coll. in Princeton, N.J. (1938–42), the Univ. of Calif, at Los Angeles (1947–58), and the Univ. of Wash, in Seattle (1958–77). He publ. the book Sound and Unsound: Ideas on Music (Seattle, 1973). In his compositions, he developed such innovations as “Intervalescent Counterpoint” (with interval values constanting changing one voice to another), “Lipophony” (with certain notes systematically omitted), “Word Tones” (whenever a word recurs, it is assigned to the same pitch), and “Rotating Triskaidecaphony” (a 12-tone series returning to note 1 for the 13th note, with the next row starting and ending on note 2, etc.).


DRAMATIC: Opera: The Loafer and the Loaf (1951; Los Angeles, May 1, 1956); Lysistrata (1968–72; Marlboro, Vt., Nov. 9, 1984). orch.:Lyric Sonata for r Strings (1932; rev. 1960); Monograph (1952); Saraband for the Golden Goose (1957); Points West for Wind and Percussion (1960; also for Full Orch., 1970); Encounter for Viola and Orch. (1961); Variegation (1961). chamber:3 string quartets (1928, 1956, 1958); Danza de la muerte for Oboe and Piano (1937); Nocturne for Viola and Piano (1955); A Game That 2 Can Play for Flute and Clarinet (1959); Concatenata (Quodlibet) for Wind Quintet (1969); Danza de la vida for Oboe and Piano (1975); 3 From Foster, Fuguing Trio for Flute, Violin, and Cello (1980–81); Drastic Measures for Trombone (1982); Salute to Justin Morgan for Flute, Violin, and Harpsichord (1982); much piano and organ music. vocal: choral:No Man is an Island, after Donne (1951); The Young Dead Soldiers, after MacLeish (1970); These are the Times that Try Men’s Souls, after Paine (1976); Choose Life, after Deuteronomy 30: 19 (1983); The Sun Shines Also Today, after Emerson (1983); We Believe, after Von Odgen Vogt (1984); The Earth Mourns, after Isaiah 24 (1984). other:Many songs.


O. Daniel, H.L. C. (N.Y., 1970).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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