A setting of five prose poems from Michael Harlow’s book of the same name.

Nothing but Switzerland and Lemonade

Cézanne’s mistress is in Switzerland drinking lemonade.

The mountains are white with snow.

A waiter appears bearing two glasses on a red tray.
Bending to the table he considers the remote possibility of her breasts.

He is thinking: “Green grape and you refused me, red
grape and you sent me packing. May I have a bite of your

She winks discreetly at her gentleman friend in his fawn
waistcoat and lemon gloves.

A glass falls shattering on the stone floor.

From across the terrace a peddlar smiles, flashing a fan
of postcard scenes from Provence…

Michael Harlow

It is scored for singer, flute, violin and cello. An earlier version, which was also performed in Zürich, was for speaker, flute, violin and cello.

The singer’s part in the newer version is, with the exception of the last movement, written in graphic notation. But the instrumental parts are in conventional notation. Nevertheless, a number of modern techniques are called for in the instrumental parts, such as simultaneous singing and playing for the flautist, legno battuto for the string players and durations which are measured in seconds, rather than beats.