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Posts tagged 'Pro Arte Quartet'

Pierre Jalbert's "Howl" Recorded by Pro Arte Quartet

Pierre Jalbert has a distinctively American compositional voice that has been heard in concert halls around the country. The Pro Arte Quartet has recently released the first recording of Jalbert's Howl, for clarinet and string quartet, which takes its inspiration from the American master poet Allen Ginsberg. In addition to the emotional and intense nature of the poems' content, Jalbert also translates the poem's form into music, offering a stunning and truly American piece. Jalbert writes that beyond the content of the poem, his chamber work is primarily inspired by Ginsberg's long lyrical line:

This long line is recreated by the clarinet with the strings providing an active underpinning. His poem has been referred to as a kind of 'litany of praise' and the second movement becomes the litany, with the clarinet acting as 'Vox Dei', the voice of God. The third movement returns to the musical subject matter of the first, this time with the bass clarinet taking on the virtuosic role. 


Albany Records has graciously released the first movement of the quartet for free on YouTube—check it out below. 

September Premieres for Hannah Lash & Pierre Jalbert

September has arrived and brought with it two upcoming premieres of new music by Hannah Lash and Pierre Jalbert. Lash’s piece Liebesbrief an Schumann (Love Letter to Schumann) is--as its title suggests--a work for solo piano paying homage to various compositional aspects of Robert Schumann’s (1810-1856) music. Lash recalls,

I approached the composition of this piece both from the standpoint of paying homage to Schumann and fulfilling my own compositional needs.

Referencing Schumann’s “fluid,” “malleable” harmonies and chromatic figuration, Lash “based [her] entire composition on a chromatic line that was able to move in an infinite variety of ways, using a songful melodic disposition as a foil.” 

Liebesbrief will receive its world premiere on September 21st presented by Lyrica Chamber Music as part of a program in which pianist and Lyrica Artistic Director David Kaplan will intersperse specially commissioned miniatures by 17 composers throughout Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze

Check out a recording of Lash's piece Friction, Pressure, Impact (2012) for Cello and Piano: 

The second September premiere that should be on your radar is of Pierre Jalbert’s Howl for clarinet quintet. Howl was commissioned by the Pro Arte Quartet with Charles Neidich on B-flat and bass clarinets, and is set to premiere on September 26th at Wisconsin Union Theater on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The event will be the first classical music concert to take place in the historic theater’s newly refurbished Shannon Hall (for more info on the commission and performers, click here). 

Of Howl's origins, Jalbert maintains, 

The work...was somewhat inspired by the poem of Allen Ginsberg, not so much the content, but the long lyrical line created in the work. This long line is recreated [in Howl] by the clarinet with the strings providing an active underpinning. His poem has been referred to as a kind of 'litany of praise' and the second movement becomes the litany, with the clarinet acting as ‘Vox Dei,’ the voice of God.

Here is a video of the third movement of Jalbert's string quartet Icefield Sonnets (2004)

Following their respective premieres, both works will be available on PSNY.

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