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Birtwistle, (Sir) Harrison (Paul)

Birtwistle, (Sir) Harrison (Paul) (b Accrington, 1934). Eng. composer. As clarinettist, entered RMCM 1952, studying comp. with Richard Hall. While still a student was one of Manchester New Music Group (with A. Goehr, P. Maxwell Davies and J. Ogdon), performing avant-garde works. Leaving RMCM in 1960, spent a year at RAM. From 1962 to 1965 was dir. of mus., Cranborne Chase Sch. In USA 1966–8, first year as visiting fellow, Princeton Univ. Ass. dir. Nat. Th. from 1975. With Maxwell Davies formed Pierrot Players in London for perf. of new chamber mus. involving theatrical elements (named after Pierrot Lunaire). Received commissions for works from many organizations and rapidly moved into forefront of Eng. composers of his generation. His first opera, Punch and Judy, is a compelling study in violence and was followed by The Mask of Orpheus for ENO and Gawain for CG. Music marked by genuine lyrical impulse built on dramatic use of ostinato and repeated thematic fragments. A strong poetic feeling pervades all his work. Knighted 1988. CH 2001. Prin. comps.:OPERA AND MUSIC THEATRE: Punch and Judy (1966–7); Down by the Greenwood Side (1968–9); The Mask of Orpheus (1973–5, 1981–4); Bow Down (1977); Yan Tan Tethera, TV opera (1983–4); Gawain (1987–90, rev. 1994); The Second Mrs Kong (1993–4).BALLET: Pulse Field (Frames, Pulses and Interruptions) (1977).INCIDENTAL MUSIC: Hamlet (1975); The Oresteia (1981).ORCH.: Chorales (1960–3); 3 Movements with Fanfares (1964); Nomos (1967–8); An Imaginary Landscape (1971); The Triumph of Time (1972); Melencolia I (1976); Still Movement, 13 solo str. (1984); Earth Dances (1985–6); Endless Parade, tpt., vib., str. (1986–7); Machaut à ma manière (1988); Ritual Fragment (1990); Gawain's Journey (1991); Antiphonies, pf., orch. (1992); The Cry of Anubis, tuba, orch. (1994).INSTRUMENTAL (without v.): Refrains and Choruses, wind quintet (1957); The World is Discovered, chamber ens. (1960); Tragoedia, wind quintet, hp., str. qt. (1965); Chorale from a Toy Shop, 1st vers. for fl, ob. or cl., cl. or ca., hn. or tb., bn. or tuba (1967), 2nd vers. for 2 tpt., hn., tb., tuba (1978); Three Lessons in a Frame, pf., fl., cl., vn., vc., perc. (1967); Verses for Ensembles, wind quintet, brass, perc. (1968–9); Some Petals from my Twickenham Herbarium, chamber ens. (1969); Medusa, ens. (1969–70, rev. 1980); Dinah and Nick's Love Song, 3 sop. sax., hp., or 3 cor. ang., hp. (1970); Tombeau, in mem. Igor Stravinsky, fl., cl., hp., str. qt. (1971); Silbury Air, chamber ens. (1977); Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum, chamber ens. (1977); For O, For O, the Hobby Horse is Forgot, 6 perc. players (1976); Pulse Sampler, ob., claves (1981); Secret Theatre, fl., ob., cl., bn., tpt., hn., tb., perc., pf., str. qt. (1984); Slow Frieze, pf., ens. (1996).INSTRUMENTAL (with vv.): Monody for Corpus Christi (1959); Entr'actes and Sappho Fragments, sop., ens. (1964); Ring a Dumb Carillon, sop. (doubling suspended cymbals), cl., perc. (1964–5); Monodrama, sop., narr., fl., cl., vn., vc., perc. (1967); Cantata, sop., ens. (1969); Nenia: the Death of Orpheus, sop., ens. (1970); Prologue, ten., ens. (1970); Meridian, mez., ch., ens. (1970–1); The Fields of Sorrow, 2 sop., ch., ens. (1971, rev. 1972); Epilogue, bar., hn., 4 tb., 6 tam-tams (1972); La Plage, sop., 3 cl., pf., marimba (1972); …agm …, 16 solo vv., 3 instr. ens. (1978–90); Songs by Myself, sop., fl., vn., va., vc., db., pf., vib. (1984); Words Overheard, sop., fl., ob., str. (1985); 4 Songs of Autumn, sop., str. qt. (1987); An die Musik, sop., fl., ob., cl., bn., vib., str. qt., db. (1988); 4 Poems by Jaan Kaplinski, sop., fl., ob., cl., bn., hn., tpt., pf., hp., str. quintet (1991); 9 Settings of Celan, sop., ens. (1989–96); Pulse Shadows, sop., str. qt., ens. (1989–96).UNACC. VOICES: Description of the Passing of a Year, ch. (1963); On the Sheer Threshold of the Night, 4 solo vv., 12-part ch. (1980).CHAMBER MUSIC: Verses, cl., pf. (1965); Linoi, 1st vers., cl., pf. (1968), cl., pf., tape, dancer (1969), 3rd vers., cl., pf., vc. (1973); cl. quintet (1980); Deowa, sop., cl. (1983); Duets for Storab, 2 fl. (1983); An Interrupted Endless Melody, ob., pf. (1991); Five Distances for Five Instruments, fl., ob., cl., bn., hn. (1992); Nine Movements for String Quartet, str. qt. (1991–6).BRASS BAND: Grimethorpe Aria (1973); Fanfare for Will, 3 tpt., 4 hn., 3 tb., tuba (1987); Salford Toccata (1989).PIANO: Précis (1960); Hector's Dawn (1987).ELECTRONIC: 4 Interludes for a Tragedy, basset cl., tape (1968–9); Chronometer, 8-track tape (1971–2).

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Celan, Paul

Paul Celan (pôl sālŏn), pseud. of Paul Antschel (änt´shschwa;l), 1920–70, Romanian-French poet. Although he spent his early years in Romania and his later years in France, Celan wrote in German and is widely considered the greatest postwar poet in Europe. A Jew, who lost both parents in a Nazi camp, he composed works that focus on the moral horror of the Holocaust and the destruction of the world as he knew it, as in his most famous poem, "Deathfugue." Celan was strongly influenced by Friedrich Hölderlin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Georg Trakl, and Osip Mandelstam. Frequently dissonant and freighted with pain, his poems are richly allusive and complicated. Celan was also a masterful translator of such authors as Shakespeare, Valéry, and Dickinson. He lived in Paris from 1948 until his suicide by drowning.

See the collection of his critical essays, ed. by A. Fioretos (1993); translations of his work by J. Neugroschel (1971), M. Hamburger (1988), N. Popov and H. McHugh (2000), J. Felstiner (2001), and P. Joris (2001); biography by I. Chalfen (1979; tr. 1991); J. Feltsiner, Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew (1995).

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