INDIVISIBLE

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January 20, 2018
First Presbyterian / Santa Monica

The People United Will Never be Defeated! (1975)                                                      Frederic Rzewski (b. 1938)

Gay Guerilla (1979                                                      Julius Eastman (1940-90)

PROGRAM NOTES
For two decades composer/journalist/author/professor Kyle Gann wrote music criticism for The Village Voice. He writes with considerable authority. Around the turn of the previous century Gann identified Ben Johnston’s one-movement String Quartet No. 4 “Amazing Grace,” composed in 1973, as one of the essential works of the 20th century. “Had Ben never written another work, the Fourth Quartet would have been a sufficient blueprint for how music could expand its resources magnificently in the 21st and 22nd centuries.”

Gann’s clear-eyed focus as a composer was on the work’s concentrated theme and variations structure, and how each variation simultaneously exploits sophisticated microtonal and rhythmic innovations with such dense abandon that the score amounts to a nearly inexhaustible source book. More obvious to the listener, however, is the quartet’s deep humanism and almost magical thrall of the anti-slavery song that provides the work’s theme – and a means for accepting with pleasure about twelve minutes of what is fairly avant-garde material. “Amazing Grace” is both popular and influential, even though it still poses daunting challenges for quartet players.

El Pueblo Unido
Of comparable success is Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never be Defeated! – 36 Variations on a Chilean Song “El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido!” by Sergio Ortega and Quilapayún, an activist folk group. Rzewski wrote the hour-long piano work two years after the violent military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet September 11, 1973 that cut short the term of Chile’s first democratically elected Socialist President Salvador Allende – the same year “Amazing Grace” was written. Ortega’s protest song, a prime example of the nueva canción Chilena, was made widely popular by the Chilean music group Inti-Illimani formed in 1967 by politically disenfranchised university students.

Rzewski attended a concert by Inti-Illimani in the Upper East Side’s Hunter College in 1974 with the pianist Ursula Oppens (b. 1944). Prodigiously talented with a formidable education, she had received numerous scholarships and awards including the 1969 gold medal of the Busoni International Piano competition, and had co-founded the new music series Speculum Musicae in 1971. A kindred spirit and accomplished composer/performer of new piano music, Rzewski had returned from Italy in 1971 after studying with Luigi Dallapiccola, and after founding the Rome-based collective Musica Elettronica Viva with Alvin Curran and Richard Teitelbaum in 1966. MEV experimented with primitive synthesizers and performed daring, often riot-producing improvisations. That fateful Hunter College concert occurred just weeks after the resignation of President Nixon, August 8, 1974. Like the rest of the audience, Rzewski and Oppens left the hall singing The People United, a resolute earworm that lasted for days.

Inti-Illimani and many similar groups fled Chile after Pinochet forced 5,000 civilians into a soccer stadium for questioning and torture. More than two-thirds were brutally executed, including the teacher, poet, theater director and famous singer of nueva canción Chilena Victor Jara, who was shot 44 times in the gut after his wrists were broken. His corpse was dumped into the street. But, instead of deterring dissent as was intended, a martyr was born for the now international cause. The hugely popular folk singer-activist Joan Baez immediately produced an album in tribute to Jara and his movement entitled No Nos Moveran (We Shall Not be Moved, 1974). The title track is a song of resilience and determination.

What was this all about?
Allende entered politics as an upper middle class physician with a liberal political outlook – following in his father’s footsteps. He publicly condemned Hitler after Kristallnacht in 1938, and worked for the victory of the Popular Front party becoming Minister of Health until 1941. In the decades that followed, he ran for the presidency three times. The wildly famous and twice exiled poet Pablo Neruda was nominated for the presidency in 1970, but threw his support to Allende, who finally won in a three-way run-off election.

The arts, culture and education flourished in Chile from 1970 to 1973. Progressive music festivals brought together classically trained musicians with folk artists, indigenous peoples and their instruments in genuine exchange. Record amounts of housing were built and thousands of scholarships offered; inflation dropped significantly and wages increased broadly after the establishment a minimum wage. Neruda received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971 despite misgivings about his politics. However, Allende’s wholesale nationalization of key industries and the re-establishment of ties to communist Cuba created enormous friction and political backlash. Following the military coup and its aftermath, Chile was dealt another blow.

Ariel Dorfman, the acclaimed playwright (Death and the Maiden), novelist (Darwin’s Ghost) and essayist (newly published Homeland Security Ate My Speech), recently looked back in a recent New York Times opinion piece: “I can still remember my shock and sorrow the day I heard that Pablo Neruda, Chile’s greatest poet and one of the towering figures of 20th-century literature, had died. It was Sept. 23, 1973.” The Pinochet dictatorship announced that his death was from prostate cancer.

“Even if there were reasons to doubt every syllable that emanated from the junta as they tortured and murdered, persecuted and exiled Allende’s followers,” Dorfman continued, “it did not occur to me that they could have been stupid enough to assassinate Neruda himself.” Neruda’s widow, perhaps out of fear or denial, adamantly supported the government’s stated cause of death. “Nevertheless, decades later,” writes Dorfman,

“denunciations from Neruda’s former driver, Manuel Araya, mentioning a lethal injection [in the stomach] administered to the poet hours before his death led a Chilean judge to exhume the author’s body and seek help from foreign forensic organizations to determine the true cause of death. And now 16 experts have announced that Neruda died of a bacterial infection rather than of cancer cachexia, as fraudulently stated on his death certificate. Although they offered no evidence of foul play, their research has caused a certain amount of speculation. Contrasting with the inevitable circumspection of the forensic professionals, many Chileans — pundits, politicians, intellectuals, joined by one of Neruda’s nephews — take it as a given that an execution took place.”

The message of Ortega’s “El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido!” strengthened as the days unfolded and the resolve of the Chilean people coalesced. That the nueva canción Chilena – soon transformed by Rzewski’s hands into what now must be considered high art – has generated renewed interest in 2017 – with proliferating performances – speaks to the mounting sense of resistance and universal longing for liberty. Dorfman continues:

“Whatever the truth about his death, its effect was stunning. Neruda’s funeral on Sept. 26, 1973, became the first act of public defiance against Chile’s new rulers. How could they fail to accompany on its final journey the body of the poet who had celebrated the human body in all its sensual desires and deepest despair?

That funeral was also a blueprint for how the resistance would eventually defeat Pinochet in the arduous years to come: by taking over every tiny and large space available, by pushing back the limits of what was permissible, by stating, in the face of bayonets and bullets, that silence would not prevail.”

A final report with further forensic analysis of the Neruda case is expected in 2018. We must be reminded that the truth can be found despite the worst possible odds, and arrogant destructive power does not have the last word, however long it takes to be quelled.

President Richard Nixon had been openly hostile to Allende after years of CIA propaganda against him and lavish financial support for his opponents. As Oppens and Rzewski walked into the autumnal breezes, perhaps the song they sang together resonated with the newly sworn president’s declaration just weeks before, “our long national nightmare is over.” For Chileans, however, Pinochet’s regime lasted until 1991. The courageous spirit of Chilean inclusiveness and diversity inspired Rzewski. The People United Will Never be Defeated! was dated September-October 1975 and dedicated to Oppens.

The Buffalo Generation
A remarkable new music scene developed in Buffalo at the State University of New York, which strived to be thought of as the ”Berkeley of the East.” Extensive vision planning helped to create a new social dynamic for music that would bring performers and composers closer together without the necessity of teaching duties. Financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation helped create a new paradigm for collaboration that opened in March 1964 – the Center of the Creative and Performing Arts. At the center of the center was the warm and charismatic personality of pianist/composer Lukas Foss (1922-2009), a naturalized Jewish-American born in Berlin. Under his leadership nothing quite like the scene in Buffalo existed elsewhere, before or since. Renee Levine Packer, who worked at the center as an administrator and authored the scene’s definitive chronicle This Life of Sounds: Evenings for New Music in Buffalo (Oxford University Press, 2010), understood the historical models and like-minded programs it generated:

“Although these groups were comparable to the Buffalo center for their dedication to fostering the composition and performance of contemporary music, each was different in practice. Most used professional freelancers from their communities or faculty members and ad hoc performers. None had an ensemble brought together to live in a community for the sole purpose of the study and performance of new music. None presented as broad a cross-section of repertory with allegiance to no one school of thought, and, indeed, none incorporated as broad a representation of international composers and performers.”

Foss initially recruited 18 of the most progressive and accomplished young artists to be fellows. Percussionist/composer John Bergamo, who would later become a leading figure at CalArts, fellow percussion innovator Jan Williams, who would remain in various capacities as composer, conductor and director until 1980, and avant-garde jazz bassist Buell Neidlinger signed up. The LA-born soprano Carol Plantamura who was active in Rome with MEV joined the collaboration, as did the non-English speaking Italian experimental composer Sylvano Bussotti.

Pianist Fred Myrow, who had strong links to rock music, would become a prolific film composer. The late violinist Paul Zukovsky, a child prodigy and competition winner would gain notoriety as Einstein in the Philip Glass opera Einstein on the Beach. The 35-year-old composer George Crumb would find his voice with the now classic anti-Vietnam classic Black Angels for amplified string quartet in 1970. This extraordinarily talented assemblage also included a flutist, clarinetist, and trumpeter/composer, another violinist, a violist, guitarist, and another soprano, as well as a baritone, and the conductor Richard Dufallo.

Already professors at the University of Buffalo when the center opened, the German-Argentine composer Mauricio Kagel, and the Belgian composer Henri Pousseur, who was closely associated with the Darmstadt school and electronic music, felt liberated by the arrival of so many fellow travelers. The had accepted positions with the understanding that sleepy Buffalo would became the most exciting American city for new music.

John Cage’s frequent collaborator the composer/pianist David Tudor followed in the second year along with trombonist/composer and extended technique pioneer Vinko Globokar. In that spring, Rzewski took a break from MEV and Rome for a semester to join the Buffalo scene. Cornelius Cardew, the notorious English experimentalist and assistant to Karlheinz Stockhausen followed in 1966-67. With rock star looks, the formidable but elfin pianist Yuji Takahashi stayed for two years.

After the center’s groundbreaking Columbia/CBS/Sony recording of Terry Riley’s In C, March 27-28, 1968 that overdubbed ten musicians including Jan Williams on marimbaphone, the San Francisco composer overlapped Takahashi’s stint in the spring of 1969. Julius Eastman became a Creative Artist the following fall. The university made him full faculty the following year, and with extensive performing responsibilities, including touring Europe, he stayed until 1975. David Del Tredici, who had already begun his Neo-Romantic devotion to Lewis Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland, completed Vintage Alice during his 1972-73 stay – many years before he became an outspoken champion of gay identity.

Rzewski spent the spring semester of 1974 in Buffalo. His breakthrough work Coming Together (1972), was given the first of many shattering performances by East-
man as narrator, March 31, 1974, at Buffalo’s Albright Knox Gallery, and ten days later in Carnegie Hall. Eastman had already performed some five times as a pianist in Les Moutons de Panurge (1970), Rzewski’s ironic response to Riley’s minimalist landmark In C.

In Coming Together, however, Eastman’s uncanny stillness reading the letter of Sam Melville (born Samuel Joseph Grossman), convicted bomber, organizer, and inmate of Attica Prison, profoundly dwelled on how time is affected by place, and “a greater coming together.” The maximum-security prison was only 35 miles from Buffalo. The memory of what happened there would not soon be alleviated.

Stage actor Steven Ben Israel, who was a member of New York's Living Theatre in 1973, may have better matched the racial identity of this particular leader of this most notorious prison rebellion, however Eastman embodied the black empowerment that demanded humane conditions in a massive prison designed for a thousand fewer prisoners, 63% of which were black or Puerto Rican, than were actually housed in the brutal architecture. Eastman took possession of the audience’s collective imagination while Rzewski played a dizzying piano in an undetermined ensemble that numbered eight for this occasion. Eighteen months later The People United Will Never be Defeated score was given to Oppens.

Considering all that came before and all that went into the work, it seems supremely poetic, and with no small amount of irony, that she gave the world premiere in 1976 as part of the Bicentennial Piano Series at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.

The epic hour-long protest classic is often compared to J.S. Bach’s Aria and 30 Goldberg Variations. The composer Christian Wolff (b. 1934) has written eloquently about this kaleidoscopic work, its sources and structure. On the former, Wolff observes, “It was about the time that Rzewski...began to associate himself with jazz musicians such as Anthony Braxton and Steve Lacy, and developed an interest in popular political music, including songs of the Italian left...the songs of Hanns Eisler and the new Latin American music form Cuba and Chile, the Puerto Rican folk music in New York and the songs of Mike Glick.”

After extolling the work’s resemblance to tonal Romantic piano music, its experimental harmony, and use of serial technique, as well as repeated notes and extravagant new sonorities, Wolff draws attention to, “the catching of harmonics after a chord attack, as well as the whistling by the pianist, crying out, slamming the piano lid, all techniques suggesting experimental music – and the free, informal kind of performing sometimes found in blues and jazz.”

Also, like the wondrously clear structure of Johnston’s “Amazing Grace,” despite its complexity, the prospect of following the extensive formal logic of The People United is not difficult. Again, Wolff explains:

"The opening song is set in thirty-six bars, which are followed by thirty-six variations and then an expanded repetition of the song setting. Throughout the variations there is a continuous cross-referencing of motifs, harmonic procedures, rhythms, and dynamic sequences. These in turn are contained within the organization of the variations. The variations are grouped in six sets of six. The sixth variation of a set, itself in six parts, consists of a summing up of the previous five variations of the set, with the final sixth part of new or transitional material. (It has been suggested that the first five variations of a set are the fingers of a hand, and the sixth unites them to make a fist.)”

Roots & Minimalism
The octet with voice Stay On It (1973) was Eastman’s first important work to survive as his clear entry to the history of so-called minimalism. That there was a black voice with a significant African-American perspective at this important turning point of Western music is a topic of considerable interest today – as Eastman is discovered and re-discovered more than twenty-five years since the tragic dismemberment of his body of work. At the end of his life, conditions of addiction, poverty, homelessness, flawed decision making, homophobia, and it must be said, the cruelty of institutional racism undermined the safekeeping of his oeuvre. What remains today is unpublished although in the safe keeping of his younger brother, former bassist with the Count Basie Orchestra Gerry Eastman, who manages distribution of manuscript copies. Eastman’s biographer Renee Levine Packer, the erstwhile administrator of the center and keen chronicler of its trajectory, observed the linkage of Eastman and Rzewski at this time when key works of Riley, Glass and Reich were gaining ground in the public sphere

“All in all, Eastman’s admiration for Rzewski’s work of this period makes considerable sense. If the modular structure of In C provided a manifest precedent for questions regarding notation and ensemble coordination, Rzewski, for whom minimalism was merely a means to an end, offered an appealingly messy approach to pulsation and repetition. In Rzewski’s hands, pulse-pattern minimalism was never rigidly non-referential. Unlike early Reich and Glass, the “outside world” of politics and the vernacular was readily embraced.”

After quoting a participant in many performances of Stay On It contrasting their common ground with Rzewski being “aggressive and hard-nosed” and Eastman as “malleable and sensual” she observed, “Eastman drew most of his musical conclusions by breathing the same air and feeling the same vibrations as his more commercially successful counterparts.”

That being said Eastman’s so-called “Nigger series” – Evil Nigger (1979), Crazy Nigger, and Gay Guerilla (both c. 1980) each for four pianos certainly demonstrates Eastman’s later and total integration of these two sides, so well contrasted in Stay On It. Evil Nigger has an energetic grandiosity that recalls Rachmaninov before its growing dissonance and structural reduction. The esprit de corps is heightened by the cuing calls at key moments of “1, 2, 3, 4!” that heightens audience involvement!

At 55-minutes, Crazy Nigger is more than double the length of its predecessor. Eastman’s “organic form” I in full display described by Kyle Gann in his trenchant program notes to the three-disc treasure trove of historic recordings. “Every phrase contains the information of the phrase before it,” he explains “with new material gradually added in and old material gradually removed: minimalism’s additive process expanded to the level of phrase structure.”

The form of Crazy Nigger is so elaborately drawn out that some extraordinary textures emerge slowly with rivulets of melody and an engulfing darkness of bass notes that require sixteen more hands belong to eight pianists in the audience in a coup de theatre! Luciano Chessa, in the anthology portion of Packer’s book edited by Mary Jane Leach considers Gay Guerrilla “Eastman’s most powerful tribute to the modern fight for gay rights and one of his most compositionally memorable – and moving – works...if all of Eastman’s music but this one were to disappear, Gay Guerrilla would still be enough to guarantee him a firm place in the history of twentieth-century music.”

Eastman’s father, Julius Sr. was named after Julius Caesar. He trained to be a civil engineer and got work managing water systems. His wife Frances was devoted to piano study. Their middle class life in Ithaca included a grand piano, but did not include religion. Eventually their eldest boy’s talent and autonomy gained expression singing for St. John’s Episcopal Church choir, where he was a paid boy soprano. He learned that his talent had worth. From an early age Julius was willful, obstinate and had an air about him that his father read as effeminate. Frances was protective and concerned only with the boy’s development claiming that before he was born she had a sense that he was special. At age ten he asked for a beginning piano book that seemed as easy to read on the piano as a textbook. His voice changed at age fourteen darkening into an extremely resonant bass baritone.

Renee Levine & Julius Eastman center with Morton Feldman and other Creative Associates at the Albright Knox Gallery. Suddenly this slight and spindly boy had an identity as a singer that could rivet an audience with a commandingly large voice. Racism was hardly evident in Ithaca, where the black population was small and educated. Julius participated in science club and his high intellect was accepted. As the boy matured, however, his options seemed to narrow in the eyes of his school counselor despite good grades and prizes for singing. Perhaps ironically and with a hint of sexual rebelliousness, Julius chose to sing Stormy Weather at his class graduation. Nevertheless his talent was being nurtured by observant others who had connections to Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music, where he enrolled in 1959 as one of two black male students and three Latinas among one hundred plus students.

Eastman lived at the YMCA, and his homosexuality was now apparent enough that friendships were limited. Weighing only 125 pounds, it must be considered that he suffered from malnutrition. He wore glasses. His shyness and technical sophistication as a pianist compared less well to the many Anglo students who entered with more privilege. So the young Cuban, Mexican and Brazilian women students became his close companions. Composition would soon supplant his interest in being a pianist and his grades improved markedly.

With a final recital in 1963 made up exclusively of his own compositions earned him a diploma from Curtis. Before entering the Buffalo Center, the intervening five years showed his enterprising nature and opportunities that his talent and mentors helped manifest. He was selected by the conductor Eugene Ormandy for a minor part in a production of Der Rosenkavalier and assigned a German coach with decided success. Of even greater impact was his casting as Tiresias in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and the great Lili Chookasian as Jocasta. He was then asked to tour the U.S. and Europe as a member of the sensational Gregg Smith Singers in 1968. After a stint as a dance accompanist, he joined Foss’s many-splendored enterprise in 1969.

Gay Guerrilla
For the audience new to Eastman’s music the most distinguishing feature of Gay Guerrilla is his surprising interpolation of an unlikely but highly recognizable theme – the reformation’s battle hymn A Mighty Fortress is Our God (Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott) written in 1528 by none other than Martin Luther, the namesake of Dr. Martin Luther King. Of course J.S. Bach famously incorporated the hymn in a 1723 cantata of the same name featuring four soloists, chorus and chamber orchestra. Lukas Foss was a noted Bach conductor and may have employed Eastman as the bass soloist.

On this 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, the puzzle of this choice deepens as one considers the Protestant stance against Catholicism’s doctrine of earning grace, rather than it being an intrinsic spiritual state. Martin Luther’s pronounced anti-Semitism only muddies the waters. Kyle Gann opts for a perverse use of the quotation, “being quite subversively transformed, given the intention implied by Eastman’s title, as a gay manifesto.” In the context of such a manifesto coming ten years after the 1969 Stonewall Inn origin of gay liberation, another interpretation may be that by appropriating this famous music – especially after reading the four versus that Luther wrote to his own melody – Eastman triumphantly ennobles what had been long rejected as unspeakable.

PATRICK SCOTT © 2018


OPPOSING NATURES

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November 18, 2017
Noon to Midnight, Walt Disney Concert Hall 

Fantasmagoriana (World Premiere, Co-Commission)                                       Mark Grey (b. 1967)

I. The Revenant
II. The Grey Chamber
III. The Fated Hour

Three Choruses from Bakkhai (2013)                                                             Dylan Mattingly (b. 1991)

Chorus I, Chorus III, Chorus VII

PROGRAM NOTES
Mount Tambora was the largest volcano to erupt since Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii in 79 AD. An ancient Roman painting survives depicting Bacchus framed by the dizzying pre-volcanic form of Mount Vesuvius, and giving us a sense today of what was lost in the heart of ancient Rome. Only two hundred years ago, however, the Indonesian island of Sumbawa – home to the Tambora stratovolcano – would model lasting climate consequences for the modern world now contemplating nuclear winter. With the greatest force yet recorded, Mount Tambora’s first eruption in April of 1815 propelled a stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil upward followed by ten billion tons of pulverized rocky material and ash. Three shafts of fire eventually merged into one column nearly 150,000 feet that dwarfed the 14,000-foot high mountain as it was reduced by a third – all the while gushing molten lava.

Year Without a Summer
Lesser eruptions followed building upon a much smaller but highly polluting 1814 volcanic eruption in the Philippines. Global temperatures dropped over one degree with a related death toll of 90,000. A massive epidemic of typhus was unleashed by the cold. Crops failed globally; monsoons magnified the flooding and torrential rains in Asia. In America, summer temperatures ranged within hours between 95 degrees to near freezing. A retired President Thomas Jefferson was nearly bankrupted by his crop failures. The worst famine of the 19th century brought about riots, burning and looting many European cities, as the coldest decade in recorded history prevailed. Eighteen hundred people froze to death. Many months after the eruption, the climate change effect was so pronounced that 1816 was dubbed the Year Without a Summer. The English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner captured the vivid yellow sunrises and sunsets caused by Mount Tambora’s pollution in paintings such as The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire. The cataclysmic events also inspired him to imagine the eruption of Mount Vesuvius as a spectacular 1817 watercolor using scraped encaustic. While the eruption may have had a lasting effect on Turner’s unprecedented use of color, several writers responded to the prolonged gloom by giving birth to the Gothic Horror genre – and what is now being dubbed by movie studios: the dark universe.

Dark Universe
The promiscuously bisexual Lord Byron was granted an acrimonious divorce in March of 1816 after little more than a year of marriage. Charges of incest with his half-sister, mounting debts, and nagging scandals that generated the epithet “mad, bad and dangerous to know” forced his exit from England in April. Byron’s epic narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (two cantos in1812, and two more in 1818), which gave him overnight fame, inspired the symphonic poem Harold in Italy by Hector Berlioz. Like his disaffected hero, Byron wended his way through Belgium and Germany before settling at Lake Geneva from May to November.

Due to a congenitally deformed foot Byron traveled with his own personal physician, John William Polidori, a young specialist in sleepwalking who happened also to be a writer. The two strikingly handsome travelers met Percy Bysshe Shelley and his soon-to-be wife Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in Geneva. She introduced herself as “Mrs. Shelley.” The young literary couple had been traveling with Claire Clairmont, Mary’s stepsister, a thwarted singer, actress and would-be writer, who had dallied that spring with Byron immediately after his divorce. The volatile Clairmont was instrumental in bringing the “Shelleys” together, and also had a hand in the travel plans that reunited her briefly with Byron. The following year she would give birth to his daughter Allegra; Percy and Mary would actually marry.

Lord Byron
Polidori augmented this medical employment with a publisher’s fee to maintain a diary including celebrity gossip of which there proved to be a rich trove during June of the Year Without Summer. Byron and his doctor companion took up residence at the Villa Diodati, a mansion in the village of Cologny, while the “Shelleys” and Clairmont took the smaller lakeside Maison Chapuis.

Cold rain fell incessantly in Geneva that summer. Nearby, in western Switzerland a conical ice dam began to form at the tongue of a glacier. After two years of relentless growth and fitful human efforts opposing nature, the mass of ice would collapse in a catastrophic flood. Such an atmosphere of mounting dread and unremitting gloom left this house- bound quintet near a log-burning fire reading in French from Fantasmagoriana, a recently translated collection of German ghost stories. Byron proposed, in moment of restless invention after hours of talking, often past midnight – and drafts of laudanum – that they “each write a ghost story.”

Monsters Among Us
Mary was unable to conceive an idea for several days. Polidori was inspired by a fragment written by Byron that would become The Vampyre, the short story published in 1819, and the first tale of the undead re-animated by the harvesting of hot fresh blood. They discussed Galvanism, the recent discovery of animating a recently dead frog, for example, when its nerves were touched to an electric current. On June 16, several hours past midnight came to Mary the terrifying idea of harnessing natures power to revoke the finality of death:

“I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.”

What began first as a short story became a vastly influential novel published anonymously in 1818. Multiple editions sustained speculation about which of the Shelleys wrote what. The latest iteration of the story will be the opera Frankenstein by Mark Grey to premiere in Brussels at the newly renovated Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in 2018-19. Grey has already extracted a Frankenstein symphony that was premiered by the Atlanta Symphony In 2016 marking the anniversary.

The composer’s research into the anthology of German ghost stories gave inspiration to a three-movement chamber symphony Fantasmagoriana co-commissioned by Jacaranda and the LA Phil for the new music marathon Noon to Midnight. Scored for string quintet, wind, quintet, trombone and percussion, its three movements have suggestive titles: I. The Revenant; II. The Grey Chamber; and III. The Fated Hour.

Euripides 404BC
Bakkhai is a revolutionary tragedy by the most remarkable of ancient Greek playwrights at the end of his life. The work was given a prize-winning posthumous premiere in 405BC. Euripides makes civilization’s first argument for the opposing natures of control (Pentheus) and freedom (Dionysos). As such, Euripides pits the rational and analytic against the instinctive, and sensual, yet the latter – aligned as it is to the animal world – gives potential access to the force of spirituality.

Nonetheless, interpretations of this complex story of the charismatic god Dionysos, conceived by Zeus with Semele, a human, disguised as a human to undermine the rule of Pentheus, and ultimately inspire his Bacchantes, a cult of women outsiders, to a killing frenzy in which they tear Pentheus limb from limb, have changed over the centuries as the nature of the conflict and the understanding of power gets reexamined.

Dylan Mattingly has set the entire text of the play in its original ancient Greek as a cantata with the more accurate transliteration of the tile Bakkhai. All of the play has been incorporated. The work was completed in 2013. All seven choruses were premiered in Brooklyn by Contemporaneous directed by David Bloom. The instrumentation is 3 sopranos, high baritone, 2 oboes, cello, bass, re-tuned piano, and 2 percussionists. Mattingly has done extensive scholarly work into microtonality, as well as ancient Greek music and drama.

The following are two excerpts from a lengthy essay:

“There are numerous barriers between us and an understanding of the choral poetry and music of Greek drama from the fifth century B.C. But perhaps the strongest limiting factor in our ability to recreate a sonic world from 2500 years ago is the dependence of our own concept of music up- on the irrepressible tropes and traditions of the modern world. We define music by the soundscape that surrounds us. For us to imagine a different music, we must unlearn some of our own experiential knowledge of what music is. Because of this critical problem, it is unsurprising that a good deal of the attempts to recreate the music of ancient Greek tragedy is based in anachronistic projection.

The modern Western predilection for the twelve equally spaced notes in each octave on the piano, known as equal temperament, hinders our vision of a tuning system based entirely by the natural mathematical relationships between the notes. Likewise, the dominance of steady time signatures in all types of current music impedes our ability to imagine a music with a fundamentally unsteady beat. Although it is a Sisyphean task to approach ancient music from a clean musical slate, I will do what I can to bring about an understanding of the music of the Bakkhai, in as much of the ecstatic glory that Euripides poured into it.

The following material is divided into four parts. The first is a background of ancient Greek music and the Bakkhai in particular, and an attempt to clarify the aspects of the art form that may have been obscured by a scholarship steeped in the language of Western classical music. The second part is a complete scansion of the meter of the choruses of the Bakkhai. Third, I have written a guide through my own music for these choruses, written not as an attempt to precisely recreate the sound of ancient Greek music, but rather to use a comprehension of Euripides’ words, rhythms, and notes to build something that presents an emotional conception of the Bakkhai but is in itself entirely new. The fourth part is the music itself.”

And, specific to the music at hand this evening:

“The first and most important thing to clarify is that this music is not a reconstruction. It is not an attempt to recreate the potential sound of the music from 404 B.C. when the play was premiered. Although it is impossible for us to know exactly what that music would have sounded like, I feel fairly certain that it did not sound like this.

The music that I have written is very much my own, inspired musically by my own life as well as my own experience of and interpretation of the choruses of the Bakkhai. That said, the music attempts to use the premises that have been discussed…in order to create something that is true to the emotional content of the Euripides tragedy. This music is not what Euripides’ own mu- sic would have sounded like, but perhaps it sheds some light upon what his music would have felt like…

The instruments and singers in the ensemble are required throughout the work to tune to the just-intoned piano [synthesizer], although because these instruments (and singers) can achieve a great variety of microtones, they are also able to explore just-intoned harmonic zones beyond that of the fixed piano tuning. The instrumentation serves to juxtapose the ecstatic high voices and reeds with a very bass heavy rhythm section consisting of the cello, bass, bass drums, and often the piano.

The chorus in the Bakkhai are importantly foreigners, a group of women who have “left the hills of Tmolus to adore Bromios,” the music must be universal in its penetrating allure, but simultaneously strange and alien—unlike anything heard before in Thebes. Often I attempt to evoke a sort of imaginary folk music, complete with its own roots in the combination of its imaginary religious and imaginary popular strands of music. There are various elements throughout the music that come from each of those zones, the most easily ascertainable one being tonality.”

Mattingly has a very original voice. Despite the strenuous demands of performing this music the integration of all seven choruses into the whole is an extravagant dream that should not be unrealized for much longer. Hopefully, both Grey’s opera Frankenstein and Mattingly’s music theater work Bakkhai will both soon be heard in their entirety all the better to hear and understand the legacy of John Adams their enthusiastic mentor.
© PATRICK SCOTT 2017


MICRO CLIMATES

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October 21, 2017
First Presbyterian / Santa Monica

Varied Quintet (1987)                                                                                                   Lou Harrison (1917-2003)

String Quartet No 9 (1988)                                                                                 Ben Johnston (b. 1926)

Jardin des Herbes (1989)                                                                                               Karen Tanaka (b. 1961)

Two Holy Sonnets of John Donne (1982)                                                              Steven Stucky (1949-2016)

Symphony No. 3 (1995)                                                                                                    Philip Glass (b. 1937)

PROGRAM NOTES
The growing presence of exotic tunings in classical music helps, by contrast, to unconceal the power of equal temperament, its inherent limitations, and diminishing dominance. This transformation – however incremental, subtle and under-appreciated – is among many accelerating changes in global climate, human migration, power dynamics, gender identity, and data access altering worldviews today.

Among the planet’s sixty-three generally recognized scales and modes, equal temperament dominates with only five. While equal temperament was a consolidating force during the Age of Enlightenment, its global impact can be traced to a business concession made when the industrial revolution overtook the production of pianos from artisans in the 19th century. Just intonation, Its functional opposite, is based on the physics of sound occurring as an overtone series, be it a vibrating string, or a column of air – the human windpipe, or a flute, for example. The intervals between notes are naturally uneven and tuned by ear. With equal temperament, however, all twelve notes are multiples of the same basic interval. This simplified system is a schematic standard that allows for enormous complexity, due to the ease of shifting from scale to scale.

Volcanoes & Tigers
A twentieth century American movement to compose music using just intonation emerged in the northeast quarter of the Pacific Rim’s ring of volcanoes. Harry Partch and Lou Harrison, the movement’s west coast tigers, were harbingers of micro tonality. After a privileged childhood in multicultural Portland Oregon, study in Los Angeles with Arnold Schoenberg, and conducting the world premiere of Symphony No. 3 by Charles Ives at Carnegie Hall, Harrison adopted scales and tunings derived from various Asian musics, some rooted in ancient China, and indigenous music – such as the Indonesian gamelan in later years. Partch invented wholly reimagined instruments to expand just intonation and accommodate his original 43-tone scale. However, it is his invaluable supporting research that drives the growing impact of Partch’s conceptual work.

The older Partch was key to Harrison’s ultimate reject-ion of international modernism. The hobo scholar’s exhaustive Carnegie-supported research into the mathematic theories of sound from ancient Greece – attributed to Pythagoras, his school, and Ptolemy (AD 100-170) the Greco Roman scientist living in Alexandria, Egypt. Ptolemy’s persuasive book, Harmonics, the theory and mathematics of music, gave Partch a touch-stone for much further musical archeology in Britain. Even more consequentially, he discovered a reprint of the 1877 English translation of Sensations of Tone (1863), the first scientific study of sound and human perception. Its author, the pioneering German physician and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz invented a resonator to, among other things, chart sonic waveforms. Partch sought to reconcile ancient theories with what was considered modern science.

Genesis of a Music
Partch’s 1947 manifesto Genesis of a Music devotes three whole chapters to his theories of scales, tuning, just intonation and the mathematic principles necessary for building fantastical instruments to perform within a microtonal system. Genesis of a Music summarized over 200 years of Western music in a examination Alex Ross calls "the most startling forty-five-page history of music ever written".

The book totally expanded the consciousness of the twenty-three year-old Johnston when it was published in 1949. Years earlier In Macon, Georgia – at age twelve, accompanied by his grandmother – Johnston first learned about Helmholtz from a lecture on Debussy and acoustic theory. By August 1950 he and his new wife Betty Hill moved to coastal Gualala, California – due west of Sacramento in Redwood country. As an apprentice, Johnston mostly helped Partch build and tune his unique instruments, but it was not his calling. With Partch’s blessing, the following year Johnston began study of polytonality at Mills College in Oakland with Darius Milhaud, who was at his teaching peak. During that year he composed a setting of John Donne’s poem A Nocturnall Upon Saint Lucie’s Day for baritone and piano. Shortly before he graduated from Mills a teaching position with duties to play for dance classes opened up at the University of Illinois, Champagne Urbana. Johnston remained there for thirty years extending Partch’s theories to their ultimate fruition using traditional instruments. Given the adaptability of string players, its is not surprising the core manifestation of Johnston’s theoretical work was composed for the ensemble at the core of Western chamber music – his utterly distinctive set of ten string quartets.

Was it coincidence or destiny that Partch’s treatise was published in 1949, the year when serialism first emerged as the ultimate codification of the twelve-tone system. Father figure of the entire Germanic tradition culminating with Schoenberg’s protégé Anton Webern, J. S. Bach (1685-1750) was strongly blamed by Partch for his sanctioning embrace of equal temperament. However, as Bach scholarship has matured around his 250th birth-day, which fittingly coincided with the millennium, this idea has been thoroughly discredited. Recent scholarship reveals Bach’s frustration with the idea of even temperament. Partch seems to have conflated well tempered (The Well-Tempered Clavier) with equal tempered. The California maverick’s bias may have derived from Bach’s singular orientation to the keyboard. However, the so-called father of Western music actually advocated for a more flexible territory between just and even temperament.

Anti-Establishment
Partch did pioneering work in ancient music, while musicology was just emerging as a serious discipline, so his need for a scapegoat can be forgiven. The free-thinking Partch railed against the intrinsic hegemony of “equal-tempered tuning, which meant that composers could not absorb the scales of other world traditions; and the urge to make music ever more instrumental and abstract." By contrast, as he put it, the traditional vocal declamation with string accompaniment of China, Greece, India, and the Arab world are corporeal – more about being physically (in the Walt Whitman sense) than doing, striving and arriving. He saw equal temperament as the mu-sic of colonization and subjugation. Not unlike the English language, equal temperament is quite viral.

Partch’s hitchhiking, sexually self-expressed distain for the constraints of capitalist conformity resonated with Harrison. The atom bomb changed the world utterly for him. Working for world peace required a transformational set of tools. Among them, just intonation has certainly more currency in the world than Esperanto, the synthetic language Harrison championed. His bicoastal visibility and close friendship with bicoastal John Cage, his sunny personality and a more favorable orientation to the musical mainstream than Partch, helped him gain early attention. Harrison’s sphere of influence eventually expanded with his emergence in the sixties as openly gay – and partnered for life with the instrument builder William Colvig.

Decades before Johnston arrived in Oakland to go to Mills College, Harrison had explored the rich Bay Area dance scene centered at the girl’s school as a dancer, musician and composer in his twenties. Lester Horton (1906-53), the most influential California choreographer to follow Ruth St. Denis in Los Angeles, was invited in 1938 to bring his dance company and teach during the Mills summer session giving Harrison many opportunities for self-expression. Many years later in 1980, Harrison was invited to return to Mills to inaugurate the newly created Darius Milhaud Chair in music composition for a fixed term. He taught “Intonation in World Music” aside the resident Kronos Quartet and shared music making with Terry Riley.

Varied Quintet vs the Varied Trio
The renowned percussionist Willie Winant helped Harrison establish the Mills College gamelan. In gratitude the composer wrote a quintet featuring percussion for Winant, with Harrison playing harp, violinist David Abel, Julie Steinberg on harpsichord, and Colvig playing a tubular bell he made to which the ensemble tuned in just intonation. Winant struck and caressed a vibraphone, tambourine, drums, bakers pans and a set of tuned porcelain bowls played with chopsticks from India known as a jaltarang.

UC Berkeley celebrated Harrison’s 70th birthday two months early with a concert including the Suite for Violin and Gamelan and the premiere of the Varied Quintet in 1987. Since the harpist and bell player were a busy and committed couple, and the cartage for the fragile harpsichord and bulky harp added hassle and expense, a version that the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio could tour be-came an obvious and immediate undertaking. To clinch its portability and popularity, the quintet was recast in equal temperament with the help of pianist Steinberg. Formed in 1984, the trio specializes in music of the Pacific Rim, North, Central and South America. Mills hosted the actual May 1987 birthday concert including premier-es of three extraordinary pieces: Varied Trio, Ariadne danced by Eva Soltes – who dedicated many years to the production of a brilliant full length bio-documentary on the composer – and  the Concerto for Piano and Gamelan. The A-S-W Trio then went on to celebrate Harrison’s birthday in several cities.

The extraordinary popularity of the trio version with its distinctive scales makes a strong case for the trio version with equal temperament, but the subtle colors, textural delicacy, and bright bell in just intonation make the quintet cherishable, more so for the fourth movement’s far more idiomatic neo-baroque French rondeau – Harrison’s tribute to the lavish sensuality of the French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

Quartet No. 9
During Harrison’s birthday year Johnston was finishing work on his Quartet No. 9 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina where he located after early retirement. The Palo Alto-based Stanford String Quartet premiered the work in 1988. Bob Gilmore, who edited Johnston’s collection of writings Maximum Clarity (2006, University of Illinois) writes in the book’s chronology that the ninth quartet “consciously evoke[s] earlier classical idioms as part of a new emphasis that becomes increasingly apparent in Johnston’s music of these years, and which he discusses in “Position Paper” published in Perspectives of New Music: that of exploring how European music might have developed had it been freed of the constraints of equal temperament. This form of musical revisionism, distinct in technique and intent from the neoclassicism of his earlier work.” This important book follows in the footsteps of Partch with four large chapters: On Music Theory; On Musical Aesthetics and Culture; Some Com-positions; and On Other Composers.

Gilmore observes in his notes to the 2006 Kepler Quartet New World Records CD, that this revisionism is:

“Especially clear in the third movement, a lyrical and fully Classical slow movement that invokes Haydn, but with melodic embellishments that are not possible in the language of the great Austrian Composer. The scherzo-like second movement perhaps suggests shades of Mendelsohn, but opens up his idiom to new harmonic adventures made possible by just intonation. The energetic finale…[is] classical in impulse (with perhaps a hint of a jazz walking bass). But the most extraordinary movement is surely the first, where Johnston achieves a real compositional tour de force in creating a six-minute movement, the pitch world of which remains entirely between middle C and the C an octave above and yet retains our interest throughout. Here the richness of just intonation with its luminous pure intervals and their microtonal variants, lets us hear as never before one of Western music’s most familiar clichés: the C major scale.”

Gilmore trusts that this Janus-like quartet will help listeners discover “new sounds and untried harmonies.” As writer, critic and composer Kyle Gann observed in 1995, String Quartet No. 9 uses intervals of the harmonic series as high as the 31st partial with “potentially hundreds of pitches per octave,” in a way that is "radical without being avant-garde," and not for making "as-yet-unheard dissonances," but to, "return...to a kind of musical beauty," that he feels has been eroded in Western music by equal temperament.

A Pervasive and Persistent Legacy
Several generations of composers now have moved beyond equal temperament in their embrace of noise via John Cage, electronic music, and the computer-assisted scientific analysis of sound underpinning the spectralist movement. So-called World Music has gained purchase in concert halls previously devoted only to Western music. The issue has become less contentious as is evident in Karen Tanaka’s Jardin des Herbes. The harpsichord with its origins in a world less defined by theoretical tuning is easily and often re-tuned for specific periods of music. The work succeeds in virtually any tuning, but thrives in the micro climate of just intonation. Her love of nature and concern for the environment has influenced many of her works, including Questions of Nature, Frozen Horizon, Water and Stone, Dreamscape, Ocean, Silent Ocean, Tales of Trees, Water Dance, Crystalline series, and Children of Light.

Tanaka was born in Tokyo, Japan where she began piano and composition lessons as a child. She moved to Paris in 1986 helped by a French Government Scholarship to study with Tristan Murail and to work at IRCAM as an intern. In 1987, she was awarded the Gaudeamus International Composers Award at the International Music Week in Amsterdam. She studied with Luciano Berio in Florence in 1990–91 supported by the Nadia Boulanger Foundation and a Japanese Government Scholarship. In 1996, she honored with a fellowship at Tanglewood. In 1998 she succeeded Toru Takemitsu as co-artistic director of the Yatsugatake Kogen Music Festival. In 2005 she was awarded the Bekku Prize.

After her 2012, selection as a Sundance Institute’s Com-posers Lab fellow for feature film, Tanaka served as an orchestrator for the BBC's TV series, Planet Earth II in 2016. Her works have been performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, LA Phil, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Brodsky Quartet, and the BIT20 Ensemble. The prestigious Nederlands Dans Theater is among numerous dance companies that have featured her music.

Tanaka has received commissions from Radio France, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Arts Council of England, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Michael Vyner Trust for the NHK Symphony Orchestra conduct-ed by Esa-Pekka Salonen, for cellist Joan Jeanrenaud and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano, and the National Endowment for the Arts for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Chester Music, London, Schott Music, New York, and Editions Bim in Switzerland publish her music. Tanaka lives in Los Angeles and teaches composition at Cal Arts.

Poetics of Steven Stucky
Following the tragic loss of Steven Stucky in January of 2016, Jacaranda and pianist Gloria Cheng wanted to remember the composer in this fifteenth season. Cheng had performed his Album Leaves on the inaugural season in 2004. Together we wanted to remember an extraordinary composer and dear friend. Cheng will devote her next CD entirely to the music of Stucky, so it was decided that a public performance of these valedictory songs would give the artists a public hearing of a lesser known work prior to its world premiere recording.

John Donne (1572 -1631) wrote the lion’s share of his Holy Sonnets over two years 1609-11. The form of his sonnet is based on a Petrarchan model ending with a rhyming couplet. The first eight lines follow the normal ABBA ABBA rhyming pattern, but the remaining six lines rhyme with an atypical CDCE EE. The sonnets are com-posed in iambic pentameter – five groups of unstressed syllables followed by one that is stressed. He was the leading representative of the metaphysical poetic movement that reacted against the conventional surfaces of Elizabethan poetry, and has proven to be a favorite source over the centuries for composers attracted to the invention of his metaphors, sensuality, and vibrant language.

This pairing from Donne’s most famous sonnets was given this beautiful setting before a clear trajectory was evident that Stucky would contribute greatly to making Los Angeles the center of contemporary music it is today. His relationship with the LA Phil was the longest such association between an American orchestra and a composer. He was appointed Composer-in-Residence by André Previn in 1988, and was Consulting Composer for New Music working closely with then Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen to expand contemporary programming, award commissions, and develop educational programs. The latter included mentoring pre-college composers under the groundbreaking Composer Fellows Program. Stucky hosted talks in the Green Umbrella series most memorably with Marc-André Dalbavie and Leif Ove Andsnes. Notable LA world premieres included Stucky’s Symphony (2012) by the LA Phil, and Piano Sonata performed by Cheng in the Piano Spheres series at Zipper Hall.

As conductor, Stucky frequently led the LA Phil New Music Group. Soloist Michala Petri joined the group for the US premiere of his recorder concerto, Etudes (2002). He conducted world and regional premieres of his con-temporaries and mentors, such as Donald Crockett, Jacob Druckman, William Kraft, Witold Lutoslawski, Christopher Rouse, and Judith Weir.

While Two Holy Sonnets of John Donne is not about issues of tuning in particular, the work reveals a probing mind and a sophisticate ear that seem to transcend any perceived limitations of equal temperament

Undermining ET: Glass at 80
Arguably the most famous and financially successful composer on the planet, Philip Glass has indefatigably applied his pliant minimalism to every classical music form, repeatedly and with and such determined energy that his the art gallery beginnings seem like ancient history. Looking to the rigor of his relentless teacher Nadia Boulanger reveal more about how he developed the capacity to write an unending stream of operas, ten symphonies, and concertos for every imaginable soloist or group.

Conductor Dennis Russell Davies led the Violin Concerto No. 1 (1987) that was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra for Paul Zukofsky and dedicated to the composer’s late father. Glass's remembered that "his favorite form was the violin concerto, and so I grew up listening to the Mendelssohn, the Paganini, the Brahms concertos. So when I decided to write a violin concerto, I wanted to write one that my father would have liked." The Concerto was so persuasively performed and recorded in 1992 by Gidon Kremer and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, that the die was cast for more orchestral concert music.

Davies told Glass at the time of his success: "I'm not going to let you…be one of those opera composers who never write a symphony". Glass promptly responded with two three-movement symphonies "Low" (1992), and Symphony No. 2 (1994). The first combined themes from tracks on the 1977 David Bowie/Brian Eno album Low, a crossover gambit perhaps. Moving more directly toward symphonic tradition, Symphony No. 2 is described as a study in polytonality making reference to the seemingly unlikely French tradition of Milhaud, the Swiss Arthur Honegger, and Brazil’s Heitor Villa-Lobos, who emerged with the help of Milhaud.

Davies commissioned Symphony No. 3 (1995), for his Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra using nineteen string players. Having perhaps worked through a return to his Boulanger past in Paris, the result was authentic, more transparently polished, and intimate. Finally Glass found a symphonic style upon which to generate seven more. The symphony’s third movement reuses the baroque chaconne as a formal stratagem and, as such, betokens the composer’s growing interest in Bach. The result is structurally taut and cohesive. Glass describes the shape and what gives the work its unity:

“The opening movement, a quiet, moderately paced piece, functions as prelude to movements two and three, which are the main body of the Symphony. The second movement mode of fast-moving compound meters explores the textures from unison to multiharmonic writing for the whole ensemble. It ends when it moves without transition to a new closing theme, mixing a melody and pizzicato writing. The third movement is in the form of a chaconne, a repeated harmony sequence. It begins with three celli and four violas, and with each repetition new voices are added until, in the final [variation], all 19 players have been woven into the music. The fourth movement, a short finale, returns to the closing theme of the second movement, which quickly re-integrates the compound meters from earlier in that movement. A new closing theme is introduced to bring the Symphony to its conclusion.

That being said, the overtones of nineteen solo strings can create a haze that is not helped by rooms with less than ideal acoustics. As the composers works have moved into the classical music arena like, perhaps, and invasive species, it was logical and welcome when Michael Riesman, Glass’s erstwhile music director arranged the work for string quartet plus viola and cello. This vastly successful reduction has been named String Sextet, however its origins should not be mistaken or disguised. Interestingly, the String Quartet No. 5 was written around the same time. It was eventually recognized as the finest work in the form by Glass. Hearing the two works side by side shows a fundamental kinship, so it was natural to have the Lyris Quartet, which made its Jacaranda debut playing the Glass fifth return to this sensibility for Jacaranda’s fifteenth season.

PATRICK SCOTT © 2017