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Posts tagged 'Wind Quintet'

Anthony Cheung's "Twin Spaces, Intertwined" Premieres in Chicago

The University of Chicago has long been held as the paragon of "the life of the mind." Established as a graduate research university in 1890, it has graduated classes of students every three months in quarterly convocation ceremonies; these ceremonies have taken place in the 1,800-seat-capacity Rockefeller Chapel since its construction in the 1920s. On December 11th, the newest class of graduates will mark the completion of their degrees by hearing the world premeire of Anthony Cheung's Twin Spaces, Intertwined — a new work for spatialized chamber ensemble, written specifically for the gothic cathedral space.

Performed by members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under the baton of Michael Lewanski, Twin Spaces, Intertwined consists of separate wind and brass quintets spread out throughout the interior space of the chapel, along with two percussionists above the altar. Cheung writes: 

The idea is to fill the chapel with echoes and refrains, with the sensation of calls and responses, especially in the horns. […] The tone of the piece, while in many ways celebratory because of this specific occasion and reflected in quite jubilant passages at its climaxes, is also one of contemplation, reflection, and mystery.
 

 Check out a few excerpts from Cheung's recent work for ensemble, Time's Vestiges:

Vijay Iyer Joins PSNY!

PSNY is thrilled to announce the newest addition to our roster: composer, pianist, MacArthur fellow, Harvard professor, and all-around renaissance man, Vijay Iyer. Iyer's signature work as a musician in the past few decades has cemented him as a ground-breaking, boundary-crossing, true innovator of the 21st century. And now, his compositions for chamber ensembles are available to the public, for immediate, direct download. 

Our initial offering of Iyer's works is a testament to his bold style. Let's start with Dig the Say, a string quartet commissioned by Brooklyn Rider.

This work draws inspiration from James Brown, whose signature rhythms and harmonies (particularly around 0:26) are reimagined for string quartet with Iyer's fluid compositional hand. Not a mere transcription or imitation, this quartet filters Brown's energy into an entirely new composition that attempts a daring act of transcription across instruments and time. 

Iyer's Time, Place, Action, for string quartet and piano, contains similar stylistic elements—unison ostinati, rhythmic complexity, lyrical phrasing—but with a darker, more abstract effect. This work seamlessly blends compositional aspects of the classical quartet repertoire, jazz piano, and electronic music, as many of Iyer's works do. Check out a video of Iyer performing Time, Place, Action with the Brentano Quartet at the studios of WQXR in New York:

Iyer's Rimpa Transcriptions, commissioned and premiered by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, incorporates elements of improvisation into a brooding, meditative sound-scape. In the first movement, "Waves," a clarinet picks from several melodic fragments and performs them against an ominous background of glockenspiel, string glissandi, and bass pizzicatti. Figuration and accompaniment are split between the ensemble with expert orchestration.  

Our last initial offering of Iyer's works is Bruits, for wind quintet and piano. This work, premeired by Imani Winds, incorportes Iyer's signature rhythmically complex ostinati, accompanied by a wind quintet which blows through harmonies deeply inspired by contemporary jazz. 

Keep an eye out on our blog for more of Iyer's works to come in the future! 

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