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Posts tagged 'Fred Lerdahl'

Lerdahl at Lincoln Center

Fred Lerdahl's three string quartets, written over a span of nearly thirty years, showcase the composer's remarkable talent for exploring the subtleties of the structure of music, forming a trilogy of works that function both as a unified whole and as individual units. The third quartet, commissioned by the Deadalus Quartet and premeired in 2008, is described by the composer as "[inhabiting] a world of abrupt mood changes, passionate urgings, quiet reveries, fantastical gestures, and sudden reminiscences." 

The Deadalus Quartet, which has recorded all three of Lerdahl's quartets on Bridge Records, will perform the work on March 24th at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, alongside works by Wolfgang Rihm, Helmut Lachenmann, and John Harbison. The evening will feature a conversation with Lerdahl himself, and will be live-streamed here. Check out the Deadalus Quartet performing the work below. 

PSNY Works at Summer Festivals

Ah, summer: when classical musicians and fans retreat to the country to enjoy music in the great outdoors. This year, across the country, festival orchestras are mixing time-honored performances of the classical repertoire with exciting new compositions from America's living composers, keeping their tradition vibrant and accessible to a new generation. 

Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival brings music to all parts of the city, and on July 21st and 23rd they're presenting Douglas J. Cuomo's Kyrie both at the South Shore Cultural Center and the Columbus Park Refectory. Two arias from Cuomo's Doubt—The Boy's Nature and The Doubt Sermon will aslo be premiered at the Jay Pritzker Pavilian at Millenium Park on July 22nd. 

Back on the East Coast, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music book-ends its 2015 season with two works by George PerleCritical Moments and Critical Moments II. Commissioned for the New York New Music Ensemble and Eighth Blackbird, respectively, these two short chamber works epitomize Perle's distinctively American take on Modernism. 

In the rocky mountains of Colorado, the Aspen Music Festival presents Anthony Cheung's SynchroniCities on August 15th. A wide-ranging meditation on the commonalities between sound and setting, this "sonic travelogue" beautifully illustrates the power of music to unite aesthetic experiences between vastly different locations. With that in mind, those lucky enough to have already visited Aspen this year will have seen George Perle's Critical Moments II, along with Pierre Jalbert's Secret Alchemy, performed on a July 6th cocnert

 Finally, on the West Coast, Santa Cruz audiences will hear the world premiere of a new orchestral work by Hannah Lash, entitled Eating Flowers at this year's Cabrillo Festival, under the baton of Marin Alsop. This new orchestral work expresses Lash's "digestion" of the beautiful flowers of Late Romantic orchestral masterworks, metabolizing them into something unique and fitting for the 21st century. 

Fred Lerdahl’s "Give and Take" at Musica nova Helsinki

This week, the Musica nova Helsinki Festival hosts Fred Lerdahl as one of three composers in residence. The biannual festival is Finland’s largest contemporary music festival and one of the leading events of its kind in Europe. Give and Take is the third work Lerdahl has written for the festival’s artistic director, Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen.

Karttunen gave the piece its world premiere on February 9th at the Helsinki Music Center’s Camerata Hall with his frequent collaborator Ernst Kovacic on violin. This year’s edition of Musica nova Helsinki also features performances of Lerdahl’s Imbrications, Spirals, and Time After Time, all of which are available on PSNY.

With Give and Take, which is dedicated to Karttunen, Lerdahl pays tribute to the festival’s theme of “Dialogues.” Lerdahl elaborates:

The title Give and Take evokes the responsive and varied interaction of the violin and cello throughout the piece. They are in an intense conversation, sometimes echoing and elaborating one another, other times each going its own way in its own tempo, still other times one breaking off with a change in direction that is soon followed by the other.

Lerdahl’s two previous works for Kartunnen, Arches and There and Back Again, both premiered in 2010. Lerdahl wrote There and Back Again, a short piece for solo cello, to commemorate the cellist’s 50th birthday. Arches, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, was the result of a Fromm Foundation commission. The works premiered just four days apart, with Kartunnen traveling to New York from his 50th birthday concert in Amsterdam to give the premiere of Arches at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre. Listen to a sample of There and Back Again below:

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