Adams, John. (b. 1947) [Donne, John. (1572–1631)]
"Harmonium - 1. Negative Love" - Autograph Musical Quotation Signed
AMQS from the American composer, who has penned five measures for voice from "Negative Love," the first of three songs in his Harmonium cycle. Adams has inscribed "For Steve Juscik," adding the text "This as yet my ease and comfort is" and signing "J Adams / October, 1988." While the second and third movements of Harmonium are settings of Emily Dickinson poems, "Negative Love" takes as its text a composition by John Donne. In fine condition. 8.5 x 5.5 inches (21.6 x 14 cm.).
"Harmonium began with a simple, totally formed mental image: that of a single tone emerging out of a vast, empty space and, by means of a gentle unfolding, evolving into a rich, pulsating fabric of sound. This wordless 'preverbal' creation scene describes the opening of the piece, and it was fixed in my mind's eye long before I had even made the decision whether or not to use a text. Some time passed before I was able to get beyond this initial image. I had an intuition of what the work would feel like, but I could not locate the poetic voice to give it shape. When I finally did settle on a text for the piece I was frankly rather surprised by the oddity of my choice. At almost the same time I happened upon an obscure poem with the irresistible title 'Negative Love' by the seventeenth-century English poet John Donne and two poems by the nineteenth-century American Emily Dickinson which, together with the Donne poem, suggested a completed unity of form and meaning."–John Adams