Pamela Harrison (composer)

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Pamela Harrison (28 November 1915 – 28 August 1990) was an English pianist, music teacher and composer.

Biography[edit]

Pamela Harrison was born in Orpington, England, and studied with Gordon Jacob and Arthur Benjamin at the Royal College of Music in London. During World War II, she worked as a school teacher.[1]

Harrison's work was influenced by composers including E.J. Moeran, Arnold Bax and John Ireland, and French music. She made her debut as a composer with String Quartet in 1944 at the National Gallery concerts. She went on to produce a variety of music, including chamber, orchestral and vocal music, with settings including Baudelaire, Herrick, Dowson and Edward Thomas. Her work for small orchestra, A Suite for Timothy, was composed for the first birthday of her son.[2]

In 1990 Harrison died in a car accident in Firle, East Sussex.

Selected works[edit]

Orchestral
  • A Suite for Timothy for string orchestra (1948)
  • An Evocation of the Weald (1954)
  • Brimstone Down for small orchestra (1958)
Concertante
  • Concertante for piano and string orchestra (1954)
Chamber music
  • Allegretto for cello and piano (c.1935); published in The Strad, February 2003
  • Quintet for flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello (1944)
  • String Quartet (1944)
  • String Trio (1945)
  • Sonata for viola and piano (1946)
  • Woodwind Quintet (1948)
  • Sonata for cello and piano (1947)
  • Sonata for clarinet and piano (1954)
  • Clarinet Quintet for clarinet, 2 violins, viola and cello (1956)
  • Idle Dan, or, Nothing to Do for cello and piano (1959)
  • 2 Pieces for cello and piano (1959)
  1. White May Morning
  2. A Marsh Song
  • Badinage for flute and piano (1963)
  • Chase a Shadow for oboe and piano (1963)
  • Faggot Dance for bassoon and piano (1963)
  • Sonnet in D minor for cello and piano (1963)
  • Lament for viola and piano (1965)
  • Piano Trio for violin, cello and piano (1967)
  • Quartet for flute, violin, cello and piano (1968)
  • Quintet for flute, oboe, violin, cello and piano (1974)
  • 5 Pieces for flute and piano (1976)
  • Drifting Away for clarinet and piano (c.1978)
  • Septet for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and double bass (1980)
  • Octetto Pastorale for wind octet (2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, 2 bassoons) (1981)
  • Mariner's Way for flute and piano (1982)
  • Lullaby for cello and piano
  • Rock Grove Suite for flute, cello and piano (1989)
  • Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano
Organ
  • Epithalamium (1967)
Piano
  • Anderida, 6 Diversions (1960)
  1. Romney Marsh Goblin
  2. A Canterbury Tale
  3. Hoppers' Dance
  4. Childdingstone Cherry Pickers
  5. Ebb tide at Sandgate
  6. Faversham Fair
  • 6 Eclogues of Portugal (1960)
  • 6 Dances for Fanny Simon for piano 4-hands (1976)
Vocal
  • The Lonely Landscape for voice and piano (1944); words by Emily Brontë
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away
I'm happiest now when most away
The night is darknening round me
The battle has passed from the height
The starry night shall tidings bring
'Tis moonlight, summer moonlight
  • 6 Poems of Baudelaire for tenor and string orchestra (1944–1945); words by Charles Baudelaire
  • 8 Poems of Walter de la Mare for voice and piano (1949); words by Walter de la Mare
  1. Blindman's In
  2. A Goldfinch
  3. White
  4. Dreamland
  5. Where
  6. Why?
  7. The Horseman
  8. Nicoletta
  • 5 Poems of Ernest Dowson for tenor and string orchestra (1951–1952); words by Ernest Dowson
Beata solitudo
Non suma qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae
Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam
Villanelle of Marguerite's
Soli cantare periti Arcades
  • The Kindling of the Day for voice and string quartet (1952)
  • 2 Songs for voice and piano (1954); words by Walter de la Mare
  • The Dark Forest, Song Cycle for tenor and string orchestra (1957); words by Edward Thomas
  • 8 Songs for voice, recorder and piano (1959); words by Walter de la Mare
  • Ladies' Choice for voice, violin, cello and harp (1969); words by Walter de la Mare
Choral

Recordings[edit]

Selected recordings include:

  • English String Miniatures, Volume 5 – Pamela Harrison: A Suite for Timothy (1948); Gavin Sutherland (conductor); Royal Ballet Sinfonia; Naxos 8.557752 (2006)
  • La Viola: Music for Viola and Piano by Women Composers of the 20th Century – Pamela Harrison: Lament, Viola Sonata (1946) – Hillary Herndon (viola); Wei-Chun Bernadette Lo (piano); MSR 1416 (2012)
  • A Portrait of the Viola – Pamela Harrison: Sonata for viola and piano (1946) – Helen Callus (viola); Robert McDonald (piano); ASV Ltd. CD DCA 1130 (2002)

Sources[edit]

  • Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 210–211. ISBN 0-393-03487-9.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). p. 210. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Pamela Harrison". Naxos. Retrieved 11 January 2013.

Personal Website: http://www.pamelaharrisoncomposer.co.uk