Monday, February 15, 2010

Two World Premieres: One in NYC, Another in Harrisburg

Market Square Concerts' program this weekend will feature the world premiere of a brand new work by Lisa Bielawa called Graffiti dell'amante (roughly translated as "Sketches of the Lover") for voice and string quartet. You can hear a free open rehearsal of it on Saturday afternoon between 1:30 and 3:30 with the performance Saturday evening at 8pm, both at Market Square Church on the Square in downtown Harrisburg. She'll be performing it with the string quartet, Brooklyn Rider.

One of her blog posts from November describes some of the work behind its composition. The most recent post (to date) from Jan. 25th, 2010, announces the new work has a title but apparently isn't complete, yet. Of course, the premiere is February 20th, so there's plenty of time ;-)

Also on that program, recent works by Rider violinist Colin Jacobsen ("Achilles' Heel") and a composer associated with The Silk-Road Project, Uzbek composer Dmitri Yanov Yanovsky ("Lachrymosa") as well as Philip Glass' String Quartet No. 2 ("Company") and the chestnut on the program, Franz Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" Quartet.

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Here's a New York Times review that was posted yesterday of a recent world premiere, a woodwind quintet recently completed by Elliott Carter around the time of his 101st birthday.

Other recent works were also on the program: Retracing II (2009), Tre Duetti (2008-2009) and "Wind Rose" (2008). Elliott Carter celebrated his 100th birthday in December, 2008, with many premieres and performances during the course of that year, many of which he was able to attend!

As a friend on Facebook pointed out when he posted this review, "it's important to keep busy."

Meanwhile, I'm still schlogging away at the last of the songs for my song cycle, The Other Side of Air, the setting of Rilke's sonnet "To Music." I would not have thought it would take six weeks to work out six minutes of music, but it's proving a little more challenging to work things out just the way I want them. Still, that's moving right along, compared to the slowness of speed it's taken to finish other works of mine. But as I pointed out to another composer-friend on Facebook, since I have no project deadlines, the amount of time it takes to compose a piece expands to fill the time available and, at the moment, I have all the time in the world...

- Dr. Dick

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