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Posts tagged 'Present Music'

New Works on PSNY: Knight, Wainwright, Cerrone

One characteristic about the idea of "New Music" is that it is always, in some way, new. But this newness is spread out over a few key milestones: a "double bar-line", when the composer finishes the work; a first performance; a recording release; regional premieres across the world. A major milestone, often overlooked, is the availability of performance materials—a score and parts—so that the work can travel. We're featuring here newly published works by three composers—Adrian Knight, Rufus Wainwright and Christopher Cerrone

A few months ago, we wrote about Adrian Knight's Obsessions, a long-form commission by pianist R. Andrew Lee that was released on Irritable Hedgehog records before two East-coast performances in New York and Boston. Knight's work echoes Feldman, Dennis Johnson, and even hints of Bartok's Mikrokosmos in its simplicity and peripatetic repetition. And now, the full score of this mesmerizing work is available to the public. 



We have also recently published another work that is intimately connected to its composer and performer: Rufus Wainwright's Five Shakespeare Sonnets, in both a piano/vocal score and a score of the full orchestration made for the San Francisco Symphony in 2010. Wainwright first set Sonnet 29 in 2002, and in 2009 was asked to set several more for a collaboration with director Robert Wilson at the Berliner Ensemble. (Wainwright also recorded several of these sonnets on his 2010 album, All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu.) Most recently, Wainwright has released a full studio album of sonnet settings to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Needless to say, the ability to read through Wainwright's genius songwriting and lush orchestration is a true gift, for singers and fans alike. Check out Wainwright performing Sonnet 20, part of the published set, below: 

We end this post by featuring two works by composer Christopher Cerrone: South Catalina and The Branch Will Not Break. Commissioned by eighth blackbird for their remarkable Hand Eye album, South Catalina finds Cerrone reflecting on the city of Los Angeles and the installation-art piece Swarm, by rAndom International. The Branch Will Not Break was commissioned by Present Music for their annual Thanksgiving Concert, and features seven movements for vocal ensemble and ten instrumentalists that pull from the poems of James Wright and from Cerrone's own experience with the midwest. 

Check out eighth blackbird's premiere recording of South Catalina below. 

Timo Andres' "Comfort Food" in New York

The New York Philharmonic's Biennial is powering along, bringing exciting concerts to venues across the city. On Thursday, June 9th, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater will see a "double-bill", featuring two concerts performed by the Knights, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Their second "set" will include the New York Premiere of Timo Andres' Comfort Food, a work commissioned and premiered by Present Music in Milwaukee for their annual Thanksgiving Concert. Andres notes, "the text moves from pedestrian and earthly food items, through an episode of depressants, and finally into the somewhat metaphysical." Check out an excerpt below. 

"In The Chamber" with Kamran Ince, Pierre Jalbert, and Christopher Cerrone


(photo: Tom Bamberger; Present Music)

Milwaukee's Present Music is known for its imaginative and bold concerts of new music in the Midwest, bringing music to new venues and new audiences for over thirty years. Their upcoming concert program, "In The Chamber", features performances of works by PSNY composers Kamran Ince, Pierre Jalbert, and Christopher Cerrone, among others. The concerts will be held in four different venues around Milwaukee, including the Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, and the Villa Terrace Arts Museum. Highly anticipated by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal and WISN Arts Milwaukee, this concert is not to be missed. 

Ince, Jalbert, and Cerrone have all been commissioned by Present Music in the past, and the ensemble has worked closely with the composers to produce truly innovative chamber music. The program will include Ince's Curve, inspired by the spirituality of architectural spaces in Turkey, much like his works Domes and Arches. Jalbert's Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano shows of Jalbert's signature compositional style of intensity, virtuosity, and passion. And Cerrone's Sonata for Violin and Piano retains the architectonic form of the classical sonata while exploring extended techniques, clashing timbres, and unity of expression. 

Check out some recordings of these works below! 

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