Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Toward A Program Note To Oliver Knussen's "Requiem -- Songs For Sue"

"Knussen’s “Requiem – Songs for Sue” [2006], [is] composed in memory of his wife, Sue. Using words by Emily Dickinson (opening with the heart-stopping line, “Is it true, dear Sue?”) amalgamated by the composer, Machado’s “Cuanado murió su amada” (When his beloved died) and W. H. Auden’s “Time will say nothing but I told you so”, Knussen’s song-cycle inspired by Alexander Goehr’s choice of a Rilke poem in Sue’s memory –“Biss du noch da?” (Are you still there?), which now forms the last song."

-- Nick Breckenfield in


'Sue Knussen, a US-born producer and director of music programmes for BBC television and for the UK's Channel 4 – for which she made Leaving Home a series of seven one-hour programmes, an introduction to 20th Century music, presented by Simon Rattle, winning the 1996 BAFTA award for Best Arts Series. She ran the Los Angeles Philharmonic's education department, in the late 1990s.'


Richard Serra's proposed sculpture of rusted steel plates in front of the Legion of Honor Museum set off public protest. The project fell through. San Francisco Chronicle file photo, 1994, by Liz Hafalia via (c) Copyright controlled.


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