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di.vi.sion arts and education, inc.

Welsh-born composer Hilary Tann (b. 1947) wrote ‘Nothing Forgotten’ in 1997 for the Adirondack Ensemble in Glens Falls, New York. The title is taken from part of a long poem by Jordan Smith: “A Lesson from the Hudson River School.” Written in 1848, the passage in question reads:

 

You see, what scares me

about this landscape is:

 

… Nothing is new,

Nothing forgotten, nothing lost,

And nothing changes.

The work is interlinked in three movements played without a break. Each movement has a subtitle taken from the poem:

 

  1. Andante Maestoso “as if the granite were/some half-forgotten spirit”
  2. Allegretto “all the light caught forever in the pine boughs/bound between the stones and current”
  3. Andante recitativo-Larghetto flessibile “the mesh of branches, root, and sky”

 

Like many of Haydn’s works, the piece utilizes folksong. Two Adirondack songs are quoted: “The Jam on Gerry’s Rock” and a freer adaptation of “Miner Hill.” Unlike Haydn, Ms Tann makes deliberate use of the dissimilarities between the instrumental groups as well as freely changing from combined piano and string textures to solo strings, or solo piano groupings.