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  • richardmitnick 12:50 PM on February 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered at Q2: “Also Sprach A Living Composer!” 


    Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

    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.”

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

  • richardmitnick 7:00 AM on February 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Loops, Ladders and Wind-Up Birds” 


    Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

    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.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

  • richardmitnick 7:30 AM on February 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered at Q2: “Piano Plus” 


    Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

    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.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

  • richardmitnick 8:30 AM on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered at Q2: “Post-Minimalism For A Post-Celebration” 


    Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

    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.

    Philip Glass

    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.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

  • richardmitnick 10:53 AM on January 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “But First, A Mazurka… “ 


    Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

    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.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

  • richardmitnick 8:17 PM on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! @Q2: “Tuned to a New Frequency” 


    Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

    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?”

    Please visit the page here and by all means leave comments.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

  • richardmitnick 12:29 PM on October 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Turn (Back) on the White Lights “ 


    Hammered! is a focused keyboard program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

    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.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

    *Link is to this year’s festival web page

  • richardmitnick 2:40 PM on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered! at Q2: “Two’s Company: Piano Pairings” 


    Hammered! is a focused program at Q2 the program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2

    “So much exhilarating music heard this month! — swarms of young composers, hours of new repertoire and not but a few exciting Webcasts. But for this week’s programmatic sorbet on Hammered!, we’re simplifying the hour to just two works per day and showcasing the beauty of musical compatibility (despite the occasional 100-plus year age gap).

    Some of the most intriguing programs are the simplest on paper: Jeremy Denk’s pairing of Gyorgy Ligeti’s two books of Etudes with Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, or Ursula Oppens’s mammoth juxtaposition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations with Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. Such bold presentations reveal immediate and jarring relationships that often pack a programmatic punch your more typical potpourri collection of works just can’t achieve.

    Seriously. Like twins separated at birth, Beethoven and Charles Ives belong together (cue Friday’s show with the Bagatelles, Op. 126 (super weird) and the Concord Sonata).

    Pun intended here when I ask if the cord was ever cut between Olivier Messiaen and his student Tristan Murail (stream this one above).

    Or perhaps you crave a more self-conscious, retrospective connection, which is the approach taken by Timothy Andres in his It Takes A Long Time To Become A Good Composer, a piece looking to Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana for inspiration (heard Tuesday in its rarely heard and very strange first version from 1838).

    Rounding out the week are works by John Adams / David Lang and, wait for it, John Luther Adams / Elliott Carter.

    See the full article here.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

  • richardmitnick 3:11 PM on October 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Porter Anderson’s Challenge Grant for Q2 


    The great, mighty and awe inspiring Q2 New Music web stream is participating in the WQXR fund drive.

    Second year, second fund drive. Happy birthday Q2.

    Q2 has a great friend in Porter Anderson

    Porter has issued Q2’s first challenge grant. Here is what Porter has to say:

    On Q2 Music and writing
    The living composers of WQXR’s Q2 Music play an eloquent role in a writer’s creative process. Their work functions as collaborative leverage. Their music is made from the same day-to-day stimuli in which our writers live and work. And yet it’s not pop: it doesn’t tell you how to feel or what to think. Contemporary classical music paces a writer’s own impulses. Our composers are fortunate to have Q2. Imagine Mozart able to have his live concerts heard by a worldwide audience in real time. And writers are lucky to have Q2 as a vehicle with which to scale up our own creative efforts alongside the global reach of this 24-hour stream.

    Q2’s benefits to me as a writer, journalist, and critic have been enormous. I hope to use this challenge grant to draw more of my writing colleagues to this resource, unique in the family of NPR affiliates and in the world.”

    Here is a story Porter sent me about one writer friend’s experience of Q2.
    Roz Morris

    Scoring the novel as it unfolds – the undercover soundtrack, by Roz Morris

    Pledge your support for Q2 Music right now and every dollar you give will be doubled, thanks to Porter Anderson, who’s generously offered to match donations (up to $5000).

    To take Porter up on his generous offer to match your donation, just click here .

    Here is a direct link to the Q2 Pledge page

    And please let Porter know on Twitter — @Porter_Anderson — about your contribution. The team at Q2 is tweeting, too, as @Q2music.

  • richardmitnick 10:03 AM on October 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    From Hammered at Q2: “Piano Sounds of a New Century” 


    Vibrant Keyboard Works from a Versatile New Generation
    Monday, October 10, 2011

    “What do you get when you combine the talents of two expert curators, 16 world-class ensembles and over 100 young composers? You get an atwitter Q2 Music and the first-ever SONiC Festival, an exciting and diverse new-music festival whose participants we’ll preview all week at 11 am and 11 pm on Hammered!.

    Let’s turn over the mic to composer and SONiC curator Derek Bermel, who explains the festival’s aim:

    “We wanted to present a snapshot of the younger generation of music-makers, to showcase the richness, vitality, and diversity of the music being created right now – under our very noses here in New York and throughout the world. Emerging composers today have much greater access to different traditions and influences, and we are celebrating that by not restricting the music we present to any one style, movement, or agenda. We want to bring more public awareness to the many directions contemporary music is moving in, and to show everyone that ‘the composer’ is alive and thriving.”


    Umm, YES! Well said. To pre-game for the festival’s first event this Friday, we’ll hear keyboard works throughout the week by 25 of the over 100 composers age 40 and under that will be featured at SONiC, along with performances by Bermel’s co-curator and new-music piano ninja Stephen Gosling. Rounding out Monday’s show are works by Caleb Burhans and Timothy Andres, who performs his own It Takes A Long Time To Become A Good Composer.

    We’ll also hear from Andy Akiho, Suzanne Farrin, Kati Agócs, Ryan Brown, Judd Greenstein, Nathan Davis, and on and on and on… It is confounding how much incredible (and incredibly diverse) music is being made right now, in your very own Brooklyn backyard.”

    Hammered! is a focused program at Q2. The program streams weekdays at 11AM and 11PM on Q2.

    Hammered! is hosted by Conor Hanick

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