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Posts tagged 'brass quintet'

New Works and Performances by Ann Cleare

The music of Ann Cleare speaks to the heart of the problem with "new music": what counts as "new"? Really, truly new? And why must it be that way? Cleare's compositions rethink the possibilities created by instruments: both the sounds that they produce and their configuration within performing ensembles. And even more than this re-tooling, her works also organize these sounds in ways that create spatial, narrative, and timbral tension while keeping the sound-worlds of each composition unified and organic.

For example, take luna (the eye that opens the other eye). This composition for solo saxophone reimagines the instrument as "a dragonfly with eyes so big they cover almost its entire head, giving it a helmeted appearance and a full 360-degree field of vision." Or, take her mire |...| veins for brass quintet: 

Three works by Cleare, including the world premiere of eyam iii for bass flute (with Richard Craig, flute), will be featured in a dual portrait concert on October 25th at Spectrum, shared with composer Timothy McCormack. McCormack's amplified bassoon solo BODY MATTER will be performed by bassoonist Chris Watford, and William Lang performs works for trombone by both composers, alongside trios for trombone, trumpet and clarinet. 

In addition to these performances of her chamber works, Cleare's opera, rinn, recently premiered at Salzburg's Pocket Opera Festival. rinn takes the first two pages of Episode 11 from Joyce's Ulysses, and was performed alongside four other "pocket operas" that take inspiration from Joyce. Check out a clip below:

Lei Liang and Anne Cleare in Boston and Berlin

The Boston Early Music Festival might not be a place one would expect to hear contemporary works, but this year the festival is turning that notion on its head by including Lei Liang's 2001 composition, Some Empty Thoughts of a Person from Edo, performed by harpsichordist Takae Ohnishi, on June 11th at the First Lutheran Church in Boston. Ohnishi, who commissioned the work, premiered it in Osaka in 2001. Liang's Empty Thoughts are, of course, the opposite: the piece is based on a transcription from Liang's own improvisation at the keyboard, making this piece the embodiment of the fullness of Liang's creativity. Pianist Gloria Cheng recently gave a powerful performance of the work as part of the Piano Spheres series at The Colburn School. The striking instrument, seen in the video below, was built by Cheng's husband, Lefteris Padavos: a double-manual based on a model by the master 18th-century builder, Pascal Taskin. The instrument is a perfect complement to the contemporary canon - from its stylishly unique collapsible stand to its adjustable keyboard which allows for performance at both lower historical tuning standards and as well at modern pitch. 


Also in June is the premiere of Ann Cleare's work for brass quintet, mire|...|veins, by Ensemble Apparat. The performance, on June 27th, takes place in the heart of Berlin's Mitte district, in a 19th-century villa attached to St. Elizabeth's church. We look forward publishing mire|...|veins  following the premiere. In the meantime, have a listen below to Ann's string quartet, moil

More news is coming this week, so check back soon! 

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