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In 1977 John Ritchie set four poems from the English translation of Doctor Zhivago by Max Hayward and Manya Harari, and the songs were first performed in Durham in 1978. The extensive use of both ends of the vocal range fulfils the breadth demanded by the poem's Russian originas, yet without recourse to cluttered or overly thick textures.
Text by Boris Pasternak translated by Max Hayward and Manya Harari
11 May 1990: Performed by Margaret Lion (piano) and Marion Olsen (mezzo soprano) at St John's Smith Square in London
25 May 2008: Made in NZ
Performed by Rebecca Ryan (soprano) and John van Buskirk (piano).