Living, breathing composers introduce their piano music this week on Hammered!
“A counterpoint of instructive voices host this week on Hammered! as we pass the mic among a collection of composers who will introduce their own works for piano. Hear their musical secrets all week at 11 am and pm.
Really, who better to talk about a new piece than its composer? All week we’ll hear composers like Ingram Marshall, Judd Greenstein, Christopher Cerrone and Lowell Liebermann (and that’s just Monday!) talk about their music before hearing some of the most striking works being written today. Later in the week you’ll be joined by Steve Reich, Missy Mazzoli, Jacob Cooper and Paola Prestini.
These composer introductions are a feature unique to Q2 Music and invaluable in providing a context for the great music you hear on this program. But we’re still growing our composer intro library, so, if you could hear anyone introduce their own music, who would it be?
Also, stay tuned later in the week for information about how you can pledge support in our Winter Fund Drive, and lastly keep your eyes peeled for details on — not joking at all — a festival of American Maverick music that is absolutely not to be missed … all right here at Q2 Music.”
Exploring Brooklyn-based composer Ryan Francis‘s box of musical toys
Ryan Anthony Francis
“Among diverse cast of characters informing Brooklyn-based composer Ryan Anthony Francis’s musical language are author Haruki Murakami, artist M.C. Escher and poet Wilhelm Muller. Hear what they’ve told him this week at 11 am and pm on Hammered!.
You can hear Escher in the interlocking motivic infinities in Francis’s Etude Jacob’s Ladder, Murakami’s polished elegance in the Wind-Up Bird Preludes, and Muller’s prophetic solemnity in Consolations.
This is to say nothing of the musical personalities sitting on his other shoulder, a lineup of composers beginning with Frederic Chopin and filing through Henri Dutilleux and Richard D. James of Aphex Twin. Each of these voices are considered, adapted and synthesized by Francis into an aggressively original musical language that uses nuance, precision and stylistic-variance to create music that is at once lush, probing and inventive.
Accompanying Hammered!’s week-long survey of his piano music are works that interact with Francis’s language in especially intriguing ways. You’ll hear songs by Franz Schubert, movements from Harrison Birtwistle’s Harrison’s Clocks, a recent work from Arlene Sierra and, to balance Francis’s mammoth Moonlight Fantasy, a remarkable performance from pianist Sergei Babayan of Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit.
See the full article here.
A survey of modern piano concertos from Ravel to Rakowski
“Talk about a genre with a lot of baggage! How does a composer even think to write a piano concerto today when the masterpieces of Mozart, Brahms and Ravel are your compositional context? This week on Hammered! we hear some of the magnificent creations of this historical dare.
We recently offered one such concerto as our Album Of The Week, Jonathan Harvey’s Bird Concerto With Piano Song performed by the exquisite pianist and Ensemble InterContemporain member, Hideki Nagano.
In this wonderful new concerto Harvey accepts the historical baggage of the genre, in this specific case the piano and orchestra music of Olivier Messiaen, and reinvents it. This extraordinarily inventive concerto incorporates digitized bird song, recorded by the composer in California, and completely rethinks the pianist’s roll in this avian consort. Rounding out Monday’s hour of bird concertos are works by — duh — Messiaen and a “concerto” for piano and electronics by Ezequiel Vinao.
Throughout the week we’ll insert a few modern classics, including the “Left Hand” Concerto by Maurice Ravel and the Piano Concerto of Aaron Copland, certainly one of his masterworks.
Also on the docket is music from David Rakowski (in a stupendous performance by Marilyn Nonken), John Adams (both his Riverrun and Century Rolls), Poul Ruders (introduced by the composer!) and one of the singular creations of the genre in the last century (in history?), the Piano Concerto of Gyorgy Ligeti.”
See the full article here.
Honoring Philip Glass’s recent 75th by exploring the fertile ground of his influence
Monday, February 06, 2012
“The champagne may be flat but we’re still riding the celebratory wave of birthday boy Philip Glass’s 75th by exploring the fertile genre of post-minimalism that he helped inspire. Tune in this week at 11 am and pm for reworkings, reinventions and revampings of Glass-brand minimalism.
Last week there was a nice cross-current of influence here at Q2 Music. We celebrated Glass’s birthday with a premiere Webcast of his Ninth Symphony and also hosted a preview concert for the second annual Ecstatic Music Festival live at the Greene Space. Hearing that performance at the Greene Space is in many ways hearing the far-reaching impact of Glass’s most rudimentary musical tenets, but what’s remarkable is how uniquely these tenets have been recast.
This is the music you’ll hear this week. We’ll frame each program with a brief piano piece from Glass and quickly turn to music that is related to, but almost unrecognizable from, the Glass style. Kind of like distant third cousins. Possibly half removed. On Monday we’ll hear music of Marti Epstein, Stephen Scott (a bowed piano piece Music One for Bowed Strings that is not to be missed!) and an enormous work by William Duckworth called The Time Curve Preludes.
Later in the week catch post-minimalist masterpieces by Ingram Marshall, Kyle Gann and John Luther Adams, along with up-and-comers Jacob Cooper, Andy Akiho and Eliot Britton.
See the full article here.
Surveying the Past, Present and Future of Piano Music from Poland
“Despite the immense stylistic variety of Polish music from the last fifty years, many of these works demonstrate a keen sense of historical context, nodding appreciatively through the centuries. Tune in for the piano course to this week’s Muzyka Nowa smorgasbord and explore the keyboard music of Polish modernism. In context.
Franz Liszt said of Frederic Chopin, one of Poland’s great cultural ambassadors, that “the anguished cries of Poland lend to his art a mysterious, indefinable poetry.” Perhaps the same can be said of the composers on this week’s program, if not specifically because of their common cultural context than perhaps more generally because the pathos and melancholy that’s so often expressed in these works is tinged with the same mysteriousness and indefinability that shrouds Chopin’s music.
Chopin was also a true modernist. Listen to the unnerving, relentlessly minimalist center section of his Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Op. 44, or the unstable, often “rule-breaking”, harmonic language of his late Mazurkas. Hear how these traits are expanded and reinvented by Karol Szymanowski, the under appreciated torchbearer of Polish late Romanticism.
Of course we also have the great modern masters of Polish pianism, Henryk Gorecki and Witold Lutowslawki (no solo piano music from Krzysztof Pendericki), and offer — among other things — piano concertos by both composers (the Lutoslawski brilliantly performed by Leif Ove Andsnes). Grazyna Bacewicz, a contemporary of Penderecki, is also hardly known in the States, and thanks to a recent album from Krystian Zimerman you’ll hear her Second Sonata and two piano quintets.
Rounding out the timeline are recently written works by the extraordinary Pawel Szymanski, Jan Radzynski, Roger Przytulski, and Jakub Cuipinski, who will host two specially curated episodes this week.”
See the full article here.
Newly (Re)discovered Sounds from the Composers and Pianists that Shaped Our 2011
“New-music junkies thrive on hearing new sounds, on experiencing novel, sonic worlds. Really, is there anything more exciting than listening to a piece for the first time? This week on Hammered! we’re reacquainting you with some of those experiences and playing our favorite discoveries of 2011.
Of course the week is overflowing with new composers and recently written music. Monday begins with one of the most striking additions to our library in 2011, Sleeping Giant Ted Hearne’s Parlor Diplomacy for solo piano in a scary-good performance by fellow Giant Timothy Andres. (Apropos of these topics, do yourself a favor and revisit last month’s Sleeping Giant invasion.)
Other highlights (what’s a highlight among highlights?) include new-to-us works by Benjamin Broening (the Recombinant Nocturnes for multiple pianos and electronics), accordionist Guy Klucevsek (the Well-Tampered Accordion), Marco Stroppa (Tangato Manu for solo piano) and pianist composer Eric Wubbles (This Is This Is This).
Friday includes works that we rediscovered through the earlier rediscovery of some of the great new-music pianists alive. Seriously, is there any man / woman / child that can / could / will achieve Alan Feinberg’s contrapuntal clarity in the thorny scores of Milton Babbitt? What about the microscopic detail and pianistic clarity of Fredrik Ullen’s performances of Gyorgy Ligeti?
Enough about us though. What keyboard wizardry do you want to hear in 2012?”
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Alexi Lubimov’s Late-Night Elegies Recital from Last Year’s White Light Festival*
“This week Hammered! takes its programmatic cue from the probing musical curiosity of pianist Alexei Lubimov and begins Monday with a recital recorded last year live at Lincoln Center’s inaugural White Light Festival, which is currently midway through another illuminating installation of performances for its 2011 festival.
Lubimov’s haunting performance last year features a set of unlikely but beautifully interactive composers ranging from Valentin Silvestrov to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, whose Fantasia in F-sharp minor, no joke, sounds supremely freaky next to Tigran Mansurian’s Nostalgia.
The rest of the week’s program revels in Monday’s acoustic and conceptual resonance, riffing on Lubimov’s intermingling of new and old with introspective works by Alfred Schnittke, John Cage and Eleanor Sandresky alongside short pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leoš Janáček and Franz Schubert (trust me).
In addition to juxtaposing “new” and “old” pieces by separate composers, the central works on this week’s program are by single composers fusing material from both sides of the categorical dividing line, in some cases erasing it completely. Think: “is that a quotation from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony in John Corigliano’s Fantasia On An Ostinato” or, “is that a modernized Mozart paraphrase in George Tsontakis’s Ghost Variations,” (yes to both) and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.
What you might not expect are performances of Charles Ives’s Concord Sonata (with its disfigured quotations from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony), George Crumb’s Little Suite for Christmas (cue surreal setting of the 16th century “Coventry Carol”), and Philip Lasser’s Twelve Variations on a Chorale by J.S. Bach (good guess!).
Whatever the repertoire, this week promises to be a vivid, sometimes creepy, frequently touching combination of works you never knew you always wanted to hear together.”
View the complete article here.