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These songs, written quickly and completely by intuition, were among the first music I composed after two years of virtual silence. “Gong” was written in August 1988 for the 70th birthday celebrations for Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood; the others followed in September and October. Four Late Poems was commissioned by Jane Manning with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain, and it was she who gave the first complete performance at the 1989 Aldeburgh Festival.
© Oliver Knussen