Lomon, Ruth (1930-2017) Website
formerly of Cambridge, Massachusetts
"Lomon's musical language is a model of coherence...[with] elegant imagination, subtle craft, and an unfailing sense of apt sonority." (Mel Powell, composer)
Esquisses for piano
10'40" $ 8.00 #040074 AP-112
"...stands in the grand continuity of writing for piano" (Boston Globe)
In three movements completed in 1992, Esquisses is dedicated to pianist Emily Corbato.
The first piece, Les Cloches, was written while the composer was living in Paris and draws on the complex overtones of European flared tower bells for its harmonic structure. The note pattern of the coda is based on the Grandshire change ringing pattern in which two bells change in each round. La Fete was composed after attending the Native American dances at the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. The rhythmic and melodic character of the the Turtle Dance is the inspiration for this sketch. Memoires de... is the most introspective of the three pieces. The cantabile theme and reminiscences carry the music forward with the inevitability of a ballad.
Five Ceremonial Masks for piano
14'40" $9.00 #040075 AP-113
"dazzling" (Lexington Minute Man)"[a] portrait of the mystical power behind Indian ritual" (Albuquerque Journal)
Each movement of this piece is based on a character or mask from the Navajo Yeibichai Night Chants: Changing Woman, Dancer, Spirit, Clown, and Talking Power.
Soundings for piano duet
6'50" $8.00 #040085 AP-202Recording: Capriccio, Vol. 2
" This piece is about sound and Lomon gets some lovely & unusual ones." (The American Music Teacher)
Soundings is dedicated to pianist Iris Graffman Wenglin. A review in Notes describes the piece as follows: "Most appropriately named, Soundings utilizes a wide range of effects special but natural to the piano. Lomon's resourcefulness in juxtaposing pitch patterns, textures, and instrumental effects sustains...the overall coloration of the work."
Seven Portals of Vision for organ
30' $11.00 #040089 AP-206
"captures the spirit of the poems... audible imagery" (MLA Notes)
Composed for the four-manual organ in Hill Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Seven Portals of Vision is dedicated to Joanne Vollendorf who premiered the work there in 1983.
Dust Devils for Harp
7'40" $6.00 #040125 AP-735
Recording: 750 Arch Records S-1787
"fascinatingly written" (Chicago Tribune)
Composer Mel Powell describes the composer and this work as follows:
for soprano and piano
6' $9.00 #040151 AP-343
The texts are by Marguerite Bouvard and the music is dedicated to her. There are three canticles: Honoring the Hidden Work, Mindfulness, and Questions.
Five Songs after Poems by William Blake
Five polyphonic duets for contralto and viola.
6' $ 8.00 #040045 AP-324
The first four poems by William Blake set here are from his Songs of Experience and the fifth is from his Satiric Verses and Epigrams. The pieces are polyphonic duets with the titles: The Sunflower, The Fly, The Sick Rose, The Clod and the Pebble, and Injunction. In a paper entitled A Comparative Stylistic Analysis, Carol Ann O'Connor writes: "This set of five polyphonic duets for contralto and viola incorporates many aspects of musical personality and technique found in [the composer's] later works...and illustrate Lomon's sensitivity to capturing in music the essence of a poetic gesture or image."
Songs from a Requiem
for soprano with piano accompaniment
10' $ 9.00 #040046 AP-325
"Lomon's intense, emotional songs have profile and character." (Boston Globe)
The songs are inserts in the setting of a Requiem Mass composed by Ruth Lomon in 1977, and dedicated to the memory of her sister. The Mass is set for chorus with trumpets and trombones. The songs, settings of poems by the composer from 1970-72, are orchestrated for soprano, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, and bassoon. Thisversion for soprano and piano was written in 1982. The titles are: Les Baux, Interregnun, The Mammoth Head, Cancrizans, Black Mesa, and Incantation.
Full Score (10'30"): #040142A, AP-746A, $35.00
Parts (pic. 222 bs.cl. 2433122 perc celesta/pno. harp, strings) and Concert pitch score: #040043B, AP-746B, $45.00
"Engaging and thought provoking" Liane Curtis, IAWM Journal
Terra Incognita for orchestra (1993) is rhythmic and characterized by forceful and abrupt gestures and a sense of menace. There is a rich tapestry of sound featuring quarter tones and extreme registers. Also featured are chance elements that appear early in the work and resurface periodically. Lomon creates the sense of exploring new worlds--as the title suggests--through dissonances, sudden gestures and musical fragments that remain undeveloped. This intense piece rushes to the close, only to slow and swell at the ending
Born in Montreal, Ruth Lomon lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Los Alamos, New Mexico. Her interest in Native American ceremonials was a catalyst for much of her music. She attended McGill University, the Conservatoire in Montreal, and New England Conservatory. She also had residencies at various artist colonies including Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and was a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe in 1995. She received grants and commissions from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, NEA and the New England Foundation on the Arts. Her symphonic works were performed by the Warsaw National Symphony and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. She also had performances by Dinosaur Annex, Alea II and Coro Allegro in Boston as well as the Cube in Chicago and the Helios Quartet in New Mexico. A final project was a concerto for the 35th anniversary of the Pro Arte Orchestra for Charles Schlueter, first chair trumpet with the Boston Symphony.
Quotes by Women of Note