Jerré Tanner: Adagio for Flute, Harp and Strings
From "Holy Wisdom" oratorio
by Jerré Tanner
virtual performance created by the composer
The "Adagio" was among my earliest compositions. I was going to perform it at my senior recital but, for some reason now lost in the fog of time, it never happened. I thought to use it, as the Voice of Wisdom, in my aborted "Holy Wisdom" oratorio, but that never happened either. I then incorporated it into my opera "The Garland of God Kane" as the theme for the riddle and its answer [you have to know the opera]. That happened, during the National Bicentennial season, thanks to a local opera company [now defunct] and the Hawaii Chamber Orchestra. Since then it has taken on a life of its own as a flute solo with piano accompaniment, although there have been several notable performances with harp [I especially like the sound of flute and harp]. I thought I was through with permutations of this piece; but, no! The Muses have decreed that it shall be the principal theme in my fourth [and last] symphony (subtitled "The Song of Creation"), upon which I am currently working, where it plays a significant autobiographical role. It was while working on the latest materialization of the theme that I created this virtual performance of a setting with strings I did decades ago for a performance that, yes, never happened. One day recently, the felicitous thought struck that I should combine the music with images of orchid watercolors created by that inestimable wizard, artist John Paul Thomas [Alas! now long gone from this world]. And thus was born the artifact you have before you. Enjoy!
© 1963 rev. 1991 Jerré Tanner • all rights reserved