Written by Harry Clark
Music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Clara and Robert Schumann, Brahms, Copland, Gershwin, Thomson, Bernstein

3M: pianist, cellist, and soprano (spoken parts for all)
OR 2M: pianist and singer (spoken parts for all)
Single Set or no Set

Michael Learned

Michael Learned

“It’s a ridiculous assignment, an agony—a dozen letters, I couldn’t decide on 250 and be satisfied. So I’ve had to come up with some way to limit 

my choices or I’d be totally bonkers.” Miss Harris

“My music is the product of my talent and this misery. When I wish to sing of love, it turns to sorrow. And when I wish to sing of sorrow, it is transformed for me into love. Yours, Franz.” Franz Schubert to his friend Josef Spaun

Ms. Harris, Curator of Musical Letters at the Library of Congress, has her last assignment before retirement: Select a dozen or so of her favorite letters from the million plus in the collection for display in the lobby of the Coolidge Auditorium prior to the famed Friday-night performance series.

She’s agonized over her final choices and invites musician friends over to the Coolidge to see their reaction. To her surprise, they’ve come prepared to play appropriate music coupled with the letters to cheer her up with her life’s work at end. Through the letters and music of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Clara and Robert Schumann, Brahms, Copland, Gershwin, Thomson and Bernstein, the loves of the composers and the love that Miss Harris and the musicians have for the composers come full circle.

Love Letters was originally written as one of my musical portraits and it seemed to work well that way, but Michael Learned, our intrepid Miss Harris, and Troy Hollar, our equally fearless director, thought that it should be opened up dramatically as all the elements were in place. I trust their instincts and I trust the fabulous verities contained in Miss Harris’ chosen letters and the inexhaustible beauty of the music.