Fine, Vivian (1913-2003) Website

Lieder for Viola and Piano
(Score and part) 17' $15.00 #040092 AP-703

Titles appear at the end of each movement: The Balcony, Moon-Stream, The Song of the Trout, Jewels, In the Garden of the Crucifixion, and Transfiguring Night.

Written in 1979, this six movement piece is dedicated to Jacob Glick. The composer writes:

score sample (pdf)

"The inspiration for Lieder for Viola and Piano comes from Hugo Wolf, and, in The Song of the Trout, from Schubert. Motifs from these composers are used, but never literally. The intent was to convey the composer's involvement with the lyric and dramatic elements of traditional lieder in her own language."


Vivian Fine produced over 140 works in her 70 year career. Best known for her chamber music, she wrote in virtually every genre, including symphonic, chamber and choral works along with two chamber operas. Two books are available on Fine's life and music: The Music of Vivian Fine by musicologist Heidi Von Gunden (1999) and Vivian Fine: A Bio-Bibliography by poet Judith Cody (2002).

Born in Chicago and a piano prodigy, Fine studied with Ruth Crawford at the Chicago Musical College. At age 18 she moved to New York to continue her studies, joining Aaron Copland's Young Composers Group and becoming a founding member of the American Composers Alliance.

Besides composing, Fine studied with Roger Sessions and continued to perform as a pianist, premiering works by Ives, Copland, Cowell and others. Later she became an adjunct professor at Juilliard, NYU, and Bennington College.

Her early style was dissonant and contrapuntal, although she varied her choice of musical subjects and expressive style. Henry Brant noted that “No two Fine pieces are alike either in subject matter or instrumentation; each new work appears to generate its own style appropriate to the subject, and there are no mannerisms which persist from work to work.” Among her many works for voice are settings of Shakespeare, Keats, Whitman, Kafka and Neruda and the chamber opera, The Women in the Garden (1978) to the writings of Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Isadora Duncan, and Gertrude Stein. Her awards included a Guggenheim Fellowship, and grants from NEA and the Ford, Rockefeller, Koussevitsky, and Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge foundations. She was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and letters in 1980.

Her Lieder for Viola and Piano is published by Sisra Publications, the name Arsis Press uses for ASCAP composers.

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