Twenty-three Poems About Horses

Rudolf Komorous
Composition Date: 1978
Revision Date: 1985
Duration: 00:18:00
Genre: Solo Voice, With Chamber Ensemble, Woodwind(s), String(s) Bowed


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 1 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Double bass
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Programme Note:

Rudolf Komorous

Twenty-three Poems About Horses, 1978 (rev. 1985)

Commissioned by:

“Professor Frodsham, who published his superb translations of collected poems of the ancient Chinese poet, Li-Ho (791-817) in 1970, explains the Twenty-three Poems about Horses in the following words: ‘These poems, though ostensibly concerned with horses, are in fact about the neglect and misuse of men of genius. Ho’s patron, Han Yu, frequently employed this very metaphor, insisting that though there were ‘thousand league horses’ in plenty, nobody had the wit to recognize them.’

“My music, based on groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 notes, is meant neither to illustrate nor express the meaning of individual poems. It rather moves on a separate but parallel track in the same direction as Li-Ho’s timeless poetry.”

Premiere Information:
Vancouver New Music Society, Sydney Hodkinson conductor, Peter Haworth, narrator, Vancouver June 11, 1978; chamber version VNMS, Owen Underhill, conductor, Phyllis Mailing, narrator, Vancouver, September 29, 1985


  • Call Number:
  • MV 1213 K815tw
  • Genre:
  • Solo Voice, With Chamber Ensemble, Woodwind(s), String(s) Bowed
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • February 19, 1990
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (34 p.) ;
    34 Pages
    Height: 39 cm
    Parts page count: 46
  • Additional Information:
  • For narrator/1111/1000/vln, vla, vlc, cb.
    Words in English from poems by Li-Ho, translated by J.D. Frodsham.
    Another setting of the same poems are for narrator and orchestra.
    Holograph (photocopy); originals of score and parts in CMC Toronto.
    Duration: ca. 18:00.

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