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Weekly Playlist: Michael Hersch

PSNY continues its new, weekly Composer Playlist series this week by featuring the work of Michael Hersch, which the Baltimore Sun describes as having "great originality, daring, and disturbing power." Indeed, Hersch's works often explore the profound depths of human experience—as the New York Times describes it, Hersch's work is “viscerally gripping and emotionally transformative music ... claustrophobic and exhilarating at once, with moments of sublime beauty nestled inside thickets of dark virtuosity.” Hersch's music evokes many emotions particular to the current world crisis—and offers, perhaps, a necessary meditation on grief, loss, and ultimately the resilience of the human spirit. 

1. Hersch's 2015 Violin Concerto, commissioned and premiered by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and violnist Patricia Kopatchinskaja

2. Das Rückgrat berstend, also commissioned and premiered by Hersch's longtime collaborator Kopatchinskaja in 2017, in which the violnist also speaks fragment of the poetry of Christopher Middleton, accompanied by cello: 

3. Images from a Closed Ward, Hersch's 2010 string quartet commissioned by the Blair String Quartet, which responds to etchings by the artist Michael Mazur

4. On the Threshold of Winter, a 2012 monodrama which saw a recent production at George Washington University, directed and performed by Ah Young Hong:

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