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Posts tagged 'Jörg Widmann'

Anthony Cheung Builds a "Bridge to Beethoven"

As early as ten years after his death, Beethoven had already achieved the status of a Greek God. 

In this famous painting from 1840 of Liszt at the piano (joined by Chopin, Berlioz, George Sand, and others), Beethoven's marble bust, floating on top of the piano in a hazy sunset, looks down upon the composers assembled—or perhaps they look up to it. Beethoven's legacy would be felt throughout the 19th century, through the 20th, and indeed is still felt in the 21st. 

The "Bridge to Beetoven" commissioning project, led by violinist Jennifer Koh, has commissioned contemporary composers (including Vijay Iyer, Andrew Norman, and Anthony Cheung) to write works in dialogue with Beethoven, showing his influence on a diverse group of musicians nearly two centuries after his death.

Anthony Cheung's "Elective Memory", written for Koh and pianist Shai Wosner, evokes Beethoven's Opus 96 violin sonata, written in the same year that Beethoven first met with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Cheung writes, 

This is a piece about the selective affinities that Jenny and I share for this particular Beethoven sonata – it is our favorite amongst the cycle – and the elective memories I have chosen to guide my response to it.

Cheung's orchestral work Lyra, which was written partially in response to Beethoven's fourth Piano Concerto, will also see a performance with The Cleveland Orchestra later in the month. You can listen to the New York Philharmonic's premiere of Lyra from their live broadcast here.

"Elective Memory" will be performed, along with the Op. 96 sonata that inspired it, at the 92nd Street Y on March 21st, following its premeire on March 13 at the Kreeger Auditorium in Rockville, MD. Be sure to check out the final installment of the Bridge to Beethoven series, which features new works by Andrew Norman

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