Variations of Greek Themes

Song Collection

This cycle of songs from the poems of Edwin Arlington Robinson is for contralto (or mezzo-soprano), flute, viola, harp, and piano. It was commissioned by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and received its first performance on November 20, 1977, at Alice Tully Hall, with Maureen Forrester as soloist; it is dedicated to Frank E. Taplin, Jr.

Publisher: Parga Music, contact [email protected]

Date: 1977Composer: Frank LewinText: Edwin Arlington Robinson

Print vitals & song text


Variations of Greek Themes, Edwin Arlington Robinson’s collection of twelve poems based on texts by ancient authors, was published in 1915. Eight of the poems are set in this cycle. An instrumental interlude is inserted between the fourth and fifth songs.

The music incorporates several elements associated with Greek music, both ancient and contemporary: 7/8 and 5/8 meters, modal and exotic scales, the use of portamento and quarter steps, and quotations from two traditional melodies.




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