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I’m preparing to teach a seminar on song and the sounds of poetry, and looking for examples of settings in which composers emphasize the sounds of words as much as (or even more than) their meanings. I’m thinking of pieces like Babbitt’s Philomel or John Adams’s Harmonium (whose first movement starts with meaningless phonemes—"n-n-n-n-no-no-no…"—that we only later realize are related to one of the key words of John Donne’s poem). Settings of poetry are preferred, but any language or era will do.
Thanks in advance for your collective wisdom!