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Posts tagged 'study score'

Andrew Norman's "Play", Revised & Ready for Action at the LA Phil

Andrew Norman has had many honors bestowed upon him in the past several years: he has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist, won both the Berlin and Rome Prizes, held a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was recently named Musical America's "2017 Composer of the Year". Within the past four years, attention continues to return to Norman's large-scale orchestral work, Play — a work that critic William Robin has called "the best orchestral work that the twenty-first century has seen thus far"— a "symphony in everything but name" that endlessly enchants audiences, musicians and critics alike. 

Play was commissioned in 2012 by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and premiered to critical acclaim; the ensemble's recording, also critically acclaimed, was nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award

But Norman, unlike most composers, has not rested on his laurels; instead, he has pursued the conceptual and theoretical implications of this knotty, ludic work further, and has decided to substantially revise the piece, playing with the idea that a "work" must be a bounded, concrete object. Instead, Norman offers us a "work" as a process of discovery: a set of instructions for play. 

              
(pages from Andrew Norman's Play)

These revisions for Play were commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the new iteration of this work will premiere on October 28th at Walt Disney Concert Hall, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

Violist and scholar Anne Lanzilotti has recently published an extensive article on Norman's Play in Music & Literature, which traces the development of the work through her years of close collaboration with Norman as musician, musicologist, and friend. Lanzilotti, along with videographer Stephen Taylor, have created a website dedicated to exploring Norman's extended instrumental techniques, titled "Shaken, Not Stuttered." 

As Lanzilotti writes in Music & Literature

"Norman’s music is thrilling to experience live because of the abundance of unusual sounds that emanate from the stage. Emerging from these sounds is an incredible, slow, lyrical narrative that Norman threads through each piece. The journey of each instrumental line in this narrative gradually unfolds, manipulated by rules of the symphonic game, and blurred by intensely physical extended techniques that challenge traditional concepts of beauty."

In time for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's performances this weekend, the revised score for Andrew Norman's Play is available now for sale from PSNY

Remembering Stephen Paulus: The Postman Always Rings Twice

Stephen Paulus, one of America's most prolific and celebrated contemporary composers of vocal music, has left us with a treasury of beautifully composed works, after his passing in late 2014. A Minnesotan originally from the East Coast, he found a home for his unique style of lushly tonal, romantic compositions in the mid-west, and beyond. This performance of his "Pilgrim's Hymn" at the Milwaukee Art Museum is a perfect example of Paulus' haunting compositional voice. Paulus has written about the composition of this work on his website; his son, Andrew Paulus, will be publishing these collected "work stories" every month. 

 One of his most widely-known pieces was his 1982 opera, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", based on the novel of the same name. A dark tale of forbidden love and conspiratorial murder, it has been performed throughout the United States. Now, for the first time, a full-sized study score for this powerful opera is available as a direct digital download. For a taste of this opera, check out this short documentary about a 2011 production at Boston University. 

 

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