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Posts tagged 'Library of Congress'

Ann Cleare's "eyam ii" Premiered by Argento Ensemble

Ann Cleare's eyam series consists of "five attacca pieces for clarinets and flutes, all of which deal with ideas of isolation and infiltration." Cleare's work explores the static and sculptural nature of sound, probing the space between composer, performer, and instrument with texture, noise, sound, and silence. The inspiration for the eyam series comes from the town of Eyam, in Derbyshire, England; it chose to cut itself off from the outisde world when the plague was discovered there in 1665. Positioning instrumentalist as "village", the eyam pieces tug at the differences between individual and multiple, safety and danger, the known and the unknown. 

eyam ii (taking apart your universe), for contrabass clarinet and ensemble, saw its world premiere on October 24th at St. Peter's Church in New York, performed by soloist Carol McGonnell; she will perform it again on October 29th in Washington, DC at the Library of Congress. Presented on a concert program by the Argento Ensemble, eyam ii is being paired Cleare's eyam i (it takes an ocean not to) for solo clarinet, along with Sciarrino's introduzione all'oscuro, a classic work of sculptural sound. Ireland's Contemporary Music Centre has recently featured Cleare's work in a video interview, shown above. Check out more of Cleare's works here.  

Soper, Lash, and Pintscher Performances on the East Coast

Brooklyn's National Sawdust has already become one of the most vital venues for new music in New York, adding to an already-vibrant cultural scene on the East Coast. The New York Philharmonic has recognized this by holding their 2015 CONTACT! Series in this new venue, and on November 16th, they give a performance of Kate Soper's Into That World Inverted, for horn and piano.

Inspired by the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, Into That World Inverted imagines the inside of instruments, "where left is always right,/where the shadows are really the body,/where we stay awake all night,/where the heavens are shallow as the sea[...]". Check out a recording of it below. 

 This performance comes on the heels of the world premiere of Hannah Lash's Two Movements for Violin and Piano and the US Premiere of Matthias Pintscher's Profiles of Light triptych, both given brave and empassioned debut performances on November 13 by the Ensemble InterContemporain at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. A Washington Post review of the performance sums it up:

A work of almost prayer-like gentleness opened the program. Hannah Lash’s lovely, understated “Two Movements for Violin and Piano” (a commission by the Library’s McKim Fund, in its premiere) used the simplest of means — a cantabile violin line over a spare and open piano accompaniment — to create a sense of wistful reflection, then hesitation, before finding release in the soaring second movement.

Hannah Lash Premieres Two Works with ACO and Ensemble Intercontemporain



In the next two months, two new works by PSNY composer Hannah Lash will be heard by audiences in New York and Washington, D.C. On October 23rd, Lash premieres her new Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra with the American Composers Orchestra, as a part of their SONiC Festival, at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall. George Manahan conducts, with Lash herself as soloist. For the concerto, Lash was concerned with taking on "all the ramifications of our perception of this instrument's character," creating a work that is "mysterious and beautiful and at the same time fearful, aggresive, lonely."

To get a sense of what some call her "avant-garde post-romantic" style, check out this in-depth interview produced by Harvard Magazine: 

Some weeks later, Lash will see a second world-premiere of a brand-new work by Ensemble Intercontemporain, led by Matthias Pintscher. Commissioned by the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress, Lash's Two Movements for Violin and Piano premieres at the Library of Congress on November 13th. This new work will be heard alongside works by Berg, Varèse, Ligeti, and the U.S. Premiere of Now I & II from Profiles of Light by Matthias Pintscher.  

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