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The cutting-edge cellist finds himself returning back to Bach.
It’s 7:30 on a balmy spring weeknight at Crown Station Pub in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the intimate club is filling with people finding seats and ordering beer. All attention focuses on the low riser at the end of the bar, where instead of the pub’s usual bill of folk or rock musicians, solo cellist Matt Haimovitz is seated. Seeming to merge with his instrument, Haimovitz skates his bow across the 1710 Goffriller’s strings as the warm, mellifluous tones of J. S. Bach’s Suite No. 2 in D minor radiates from the stage and envelops the rapt audience.
Using Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello as his vehicle, Haimovitz, 44, pioneered bringing classical music out of the concert halls and into clubs back in 2000. Now, Haimovitz is going back to the barrooms, and the Bach, that earned him notoriety 15 years ago.
“There’s such a rich, complete story spread over Bach’s six suites,” Haimovitz says. “The complexity of some of these movements is unbelievable. If you are able to keep track of them, it’s dizzying. I don’t think any drug can match that.”
October 27, 2015
Students eating at Columbia University’s John Jay Dining Hall, an airy den reverberating with undergraduate chatter, were in for a surprise last Wednesday. When they walked in for dinner, they found Matt Haimovitz — the cellist who helped to start a trend by performing in places like an East Village punk club and a pizzeria in Jackson, Miss. — playing Bach.
By Luna Pearl Woolf | For Treble Choir, Harp, Percussion, and String Orchestra | 6′ Continue reading
By Luna Pearl Woolf | For Mezzo-Soprano and String Quartet | 9′ Continue reading
By Luna Pearl Woolf | For Violin and Cello | 16′
Composer: Luna Pearl Woolf
Year Composed: 2014
Instrumentation: Violin and Cello
Format: Score and Parts
Catalogue Number: OM0153
Premiered in 2015 by Matt Haimovitz and Andy Simionescu.
By Božo Banović | For Three Female Voices and Violoncello | 7′ Continue reading
By Luna Pearl Woolf | For Solo Baritone, Women’s Chorus, Harp, Percussion, and String Orchestra | 6′ Continue reading
By Lewis Spratlan | For Male Chorus, TTBB, and Piano, four-hands | 9′
Composer: Lewis Spratlan
Text by: Mary Jo Salter and Brad Leithauser
Year Composed: 2011
Instrumentation: For Male Chorus, TTBB, and Piano, four-hands
Format: Full Score
Catalogue Number: OM0420
Choral materials are also available for rent or at a discount for multiple copies. Please contact us for more information.
Commissioned by the Rutgers University Glee Club, Patrick Gardner, Conductor, and premiered by Daniel Spratlan on the podium.
The itinerary begins bouncing in 6/8 time for Australia: Kangaroo; then a delightful play on musical and textual palindromes arrives in the evocative second movement, “II. New Jersey: Halted Train in the Rain.” The journey ends in Paris, where a musical rainbow swells in choir and piano. Then– “the dazzle of this monumental prism, cut by drizzle, is that it vanishes.”
Like flustered actors
who don’t know what to do
with their hands, they’re hanging
around in awkward clusters,
paws dangling, ears pricked for a cue.
It’s too perfect: can the small boy on the train
really be an OTTO (as finger-painted
on the steamed-up window), a name
A RAINBOW OVER THE SEINE
Noiseless at first, a spray
of mist in the face, a nosegay
of moisture never
destined to be a downpour.
April 12, 2015
Présenté pour la première fois avec mis en scène, [à la compagnie Ballet-Opéra-Pantomime, directeur Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse] l’opéra Orpheus on Sappho’s Shore de Luna Pearl Woolf s’est révélé une fascinante et onirique proposition artistique: la rencontre de ces deux figures de la Grèce antique, Orphee et Sappho, deux allegories anciennes de l’art et de la passion. L’oeuvre s’enracine dans l’idéal des grans madrigalistes italiens qui désiraient marier poésie et musique, danse et theater. D’ailleurs, la partition de Woolf comporte de nombreuse mélopées ayant un je-ne-sais-quoi de baroque dans la souplesse et la délicatesse de la ligne vocale. La compositrice fait prevue d’une belle sensibilité et d’un grand attachement pour ses personnages, ce qui reflète dans une musique simple et brillante, efficace et théàtrale. Et comment ne pas être touché à la fin de l’opéra par ce vers authentique de Sappho: “Je crois qu’un jour, on se souviendra de nous,” chanté avec toute la douceur du monde sur un éclairage entre chien et loup.
Presented for the first time with staging [by Québec company Ballet-Opéra-Pantomime, director Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse], the opera Orpheus on Sappho’s Shore by Luna Pearl Woolf proved itself a fascinating and dreamy artistic proposal: the meeting of two figures of ancient Greece, Orpheus and Sappho – two ancient allegories for art and passion. The work is rooted in the ideals of the Italian madrigalists who sought to combine poetry with music, dance and theater. Moreover, Woolf’s score includes numerous melodies with a Baroque je-ne-sais-quoi in the suppleness and delicacy of their vocal lines. The composer proves herself to have a lovely sensitivity and great affection for her characters, reflected in a music both natural and brilliant, effective and theatrical. And how not to be touched at the end of the opera by the words of the real Sappho: “I think someone will remember us,” sung with all the sweetness in the world on a twilit stage.
By: Éric Champagne
Read at: L’Opéra
Congratulations to composer David Sanford: Winner of a 2015 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters
David Sanford has been awarded a 2015 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Fellowship of $15,000 is awarded to mid-career composers of exceptional gifts. David’s extraordinary musicianship and unbridled creativity are an inspiration!
For more information please see:
The New York Times: Her Art, Her Passion, Her Torment: Joyce DiDonato Celebrates Camille Claudel at Zankel Hall
Credit: Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times
The life of the French sculptor Camille Claudel is a tangle of art, passion, madness and betrayal. A student and lover of Rodin’s, Claudel was a critically acclaimed artist when she began to show signs of mental distress, which led her family to commit her to an institution, where she spent the remaining 30 years of her life.
On Thursday at Zankel Hall, the incandescent mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato presented the New York premiere of Jake Heggie’s “Camille Claudel: Into the Fire.” Set for voice and string quartet, the work compresses a tragic life of operatic dimensions into a song cycle of great beauty and emotional resonance.
Ms. DiDonato is one of this season’s artists in the Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall, tasked with assembling a group of concerts that reflect her own interests. At first glance, these seem eclectic: Thursday’s program, which featured the fiercely eloquent Brentano String Quartet, also included instrumental music by Charpentier and Debussy, as well as the world premiere of “Mother Songs,” a set of lullabies composed by amateurs, resulting from an outreach program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.
But at a closer glance, there was a narrative cohesion to the concert that revealed Ms. DiDonato’s intelligence as a storyteller. Debussy’s seething String Quartet provided a backdrop for Claudel’s personal drama, a Parisian arts scene humming with innovation yet anchored in the kind of classicism of which Charpentier’s “Concert Pour Quatre Parties de Violes” is an elegant example. The Brentano Quartet performed both with stylistic finesse; in the Debussy, the juxtaposition of blurry textures and bright explosions of sound vividly evoked Impressionist painting.
The titles of Mr. Heggie’s songs, with texts by Gene Scheer, are those of some of Claudel’s sculptures, allowing her work to remain in the foreground, even as the songs explore her personal turmoil. Ms. DiDonato gave a riveting performance that ranged from the unkempt eroticism of “Shakuntala” to the hollow despair with which she sang the final line, “Thank you for remembering me.”
The touching simplicity of “Mother Songs,” written in a gospel-tinged American vernacular, with spun-sugar arrangements by the composer Luna Pearl Woolf, may seem far removed from Claudel’s wild genius. But the authors, women who had teamed up with teaching artists from the Weill Music Institute during their pregnancies, drafted these lullabies facing their own struggles. Of the four women represented in Ms. DiDonato’s performance, one had been homeless during her pregnancy, two were teenagers, and one was incarcerated on Rikers Island.
Ms. DiDonato’s tender performance of their songs alongside her tribute to Claudel thus became a gesture of defiant compassion.
By: CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM
Read at: The New York Times