Agata Zubel at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra New Music Festival
Jul. 01, 2017
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra hosts Polish composer and soprano Agata Zubel for a series of performances as part of the orchestra’s 2017 New Music Festival. Zubel joins conductor Marin Alsop and the orchestra for performances of her own Labyrinth on July 13 and Chapter 13 on July 15, which will also include her orchestral work In the Shade of an Unshed Tear.
Labyrinth, for voice and four instruments, was commissioned by the Polish Institute in Tel Aviv and premiered in Jerusalem in 2012 with Zubel and the Meitar Ensemble. The text is an English translation of a poem by Polish poet Wisława Szymborska.
Zubel describes the origin of the work:
Joanna Stachyra called me and asked for a new piece. A commission from the Polish Institute in Tel Aviv — so, something in earnest. I did not plan to shun it, nor did I plan to get lost, though there were many ideas and pressing thoughts. I did not look for the Labyrinth, and Szymborska’s poetry did not seek me out, either, but somehow we all met halfway. I thought, this kaleidoscope need not turn into chaos. Certainty can very well mix with doubt, but the chief thing is to know what one is aiming at; to be sure that there is a way out other than escape.
Zubel discusses her work Chapter 13
Chapter 13, for soprano and instrumental ensemble, is a setting of the thirteenth chapter from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novel “The Little Prince,” in Zubel’s own translation to English from the original French. This chapter is the little prince’s dialogue with the businessman who is counting the stars, which he claims to own. "The message is very simple," says Zubel, "and it addresses basic problems: about friendship, about love, about certain values which we should nurture."
Score/Video: Agata Zubel – Cascando for voice, flute, clarinet, violin, cello
In the Shade of an Unshed Tear was commissioned by Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony and premiered in October of 2016. The Seattle Times hailed Zubel's new work as "bold" and "arresting," harnessing the orchestral spectrum "with prodigious craft."
For more information on Agata Zubel, visit pwm.com.pl.
for voice, bass flute, trumpet, tenor saxophone (or bass clarinet), and double bass
Chapter 13 (2015)
for soprano and ensemble
text (Pol, Eng) from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novel “The Little Prince”
In the Shade of an Unshed Tear (2016)