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Posts tagged 'György Ligeti'

The Modern Harpsichord

Since the revival of early and baroque music in the second half of the twentieth century, the harpsichord has increased in visibility and prominence: it can now be found in conservatories and classrooms across the globe. Familiar repertoire is prolific and celebrated, but the harpsichord isn't a mere historical relic. Since Ligeti's celebrated 1968 work for the instrument, Continuum, modernists and post-modernists alike have used the harpsichord for its inherent qualities: intensity of attack, quickness of decay, depth of tone.

We're excited to have two contemporary works for this instrument available from PSNY, and a number of other works available from Schott music. Besides Ligeti's compositions for the instrument-- including Continuum, Hungarian Rock, and Passacaglia Ungherese-- take a look at Alvin Singleton's hypnotic, minimal Le Tombeau du Petit Prince, and Lei Liang's Some Empty Thoughts of a Person from Edo, in whch the instrument's resonance with East Asian stringed instruments, raw emotion, and hints of the baroque come together in a virtuosic, powerful composition. 

The Summer of Alex Mincek

Who knew that one composer could be so busy in such a short amount of time? Alex Mincek, recent recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts , is quickly gaining an international reputation for his work, both written for chamber ensembles and for orchestra. His String Quartet No. 3, "lift - tilt - filter - split", has been recently performed by both the MIVOS Quartet and the JACK Quartet, MIVOS giving the Canadian premiere of the piece last month, and JACK performing it alongside the Arditti String Quartet at Wigmore Hall. JACK's performance garnered favorable reviews in The Guardian and severalblogs, and a live recording is available through Wigmore Hall's in-house record label. (The live recording, by the way, also includes recordings of Ligeti's Second String Quartet, as well as Matthias Pintscher's Study IV for Treatise on the Veil!)

The JACK Quartet have also recorded Mincek's String Quartet No. 3 on an album released by Carrier Records, which also has recordings of his Pendulum V, Pendulum III, Poco a Poco, and Nucleus. Be sure to follow us on twitter (@Schott_NY) where we'll be giving away two free copies of Alex's Carrier Records album!

For those of you who can't wait to get your hands on that beautifully recorded and crafted CD, here's a video of the MIVOS quartet performing the work at the Darmstat Summer Course for New Music last year: 

And in addition to the activity surrounding Mincek's String Quartet No. 3, the Ensemble Cairn, which in March commissioned a new chamber work from Mincek entitled "donegal", performed that work for a second time at the Hippodrome Douai-- an archived recording of which is still avaialble from Radio France

What's that? You demand even more work from this already-busy, internationally-accoladed composer? Well-- be on the lookout for loadbang, New York's bleeding-edge ensemble for "lung-powered instrumentation" (bass clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and baritone voice), performing Mincek's also-recently-commissioned piece, "number may be defined." And, if you find yourself at the Ostrava Days institute/festival this summer, keep your ears out at the final concert of the festival, which will include an excerpt from a brand-new large orchestral work, to be affiliated with Mincek's Pendulum works. So, keep Mincek's other pendulum works—two of which are available through PSNY— in mind!  

Sleeping Giant on WQXR

                    

In case any of you missed it, the members of the illustrious Sleeping Giant collective took over "Hammered!" on WQXR's Q2 for the entire month of December. (And if you're not familiar with these gentle giants, they are: Timothy Andres, Robert Honstein, Jacob Cooper, Chris Cerrone, Andrew Norman, and Ted Hearne.) Timothy Andres hosted and performed his own music, as well as music by the other Sleepy G's, and the show was hosted by each composer in turn during the week.

Much of the music featured was by the Sleeping Giant composers, including PSNY composers Timo Andres and Chris Cerrone. But the programming also ran the gamut of contemporary piano composers: Arvo Paert, Thomas Ades, Morton Feldman, Gyorgy Ligeti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alex Mincek, Adrian Knight, Scott Wollschleger, and Beat Furrer. Phew!

You can stream all episodes from WQXR's website. Here's the full recording of Alex Mincek's "Stems", which aired on the December 15th episode:

 

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