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An Die Musik (2017)
for soprano, cello and piano


Written for & dedicated to the ANA Trio: Angela Haas, Anne Kissel Harper and Natasha Farny

An Die Musik is comprised of three song movements - settings of poems titled “An die Musik” : a poem in German by Franz von Schober (1796 – 1882), notably set by Franz Schubert; a poem in German by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926), translated in English by Stephen Mitchell; a poem in English by Chris Wallace-Crabbe (Australian poet laureate, b. 1934)
Accompanying these three songs are four movements titled “Ding” (‘thing’ in German), which serve as musical objects that comment, reflect, or develop upon the materials, sentiments, and ideas from the three song settings.

An Die Musik is a mobile song cycle. A performance will feature six movements of the seven written for the set (in other words, at least one movement will always be omitted). The movements can be presented in roughly any order under the following guidelines:


  • The fifth movement presented will always be the setting of Wallace-Crabbe’s “An die Musik”

  • All three song settings must be presented at each performance

  • The “Ding” movements are never presented as adjacent movements

  • The Rilke “An die Musik” setting can be performed in a number of different ways:
    § Both German and English settings together as a single movement
    § Either German or English setting as their own movement alone (with the other movement omitted)
    § The settings split and appearing as separate movements


The purpose of the mobile construction is to allow the performers to collaborate in the “construction” of the work.  The dramatic shape of the entire cycle is wholly in the hands of the performers, based on their interpretation of each movement.  In this way, An Die Musik is a dynamic work that can be shaped into a number of different emotional or narrative experiences for both performer and listener.
Performers are encouraged to formulate different renderings of the work in the rehearsal process, as well over multiple public presentations.


BLOG POST: (4 December 2017) Click here to read about the premiere performance of An Die Musik.

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