New Music on the Cutting Edge

MOVING SOUNDS Recitals Series

Lunar Movements
A Constellation of Contemporary Music
Orbiting Pierrot Lunaire

Upcoming:
Argento would like to give special thanks to the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, our donors and the 1,000+ audience members for their dedicated support of the series.

Plans for the next weekly series in Fall 2011 are in the works. Stay tuned!

Argento New Music Project is pleased to present a new weekly concert series titled Lunar Movements: A Constellation of Contemporary Music Orbiting Pierrot Lunaire. Throughout Fall 2010, five monthly programs are slated for the superb acoustic space of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York in midtown Manhattan.

First performed in 1912, Arnold Schonberg’s Pierrot Lunaire is a seminal work whose instrumentation came to define the prototypical late twentieth century chamber ensemble. As we near the 100th anniversary of the premiere, the Lunar Movements series presents compositions that highlight and reflect on three different approaches to writing found in Pierrot Lunaire:

  • INVENTIONS: Structurally rich works in which the inventiveness of the composer creates music of formal compositional strength, sometimes featuring audible musical processes. Pierrot Lunaire demonstrates Schoenberg’s compositional inventiveness in the canonic and contrapuntal movements, such as the famous passacaglia, “Nacht.”
  • RHAPSODIES: Intuitive compositions; music that is based on subjective emotional impressions and experiences, and which creates its own forms, shapes, and narratives. Chief examples of this type of writing in Pierrot are found in the unpredictable explosions of “Die Kreuze,” and the wild mood changes in “Gebet am Pierrot.” Both are utterly striking and powerful, but resist rational explanation or formalist analysis.
  • ALLUSIONS: Music that is, in some sense, about other music. In the case of Pierrot, many movements are modernist re-imaginings of traditional forms such as waltzes, barcarolles, serenades, and other vernacular and popular-music forms.

Each concert offers a rich context to compare these compositional orientations and arrive at insights into the composers’ varied musical choices. Post-concert talks a unique opportunity to engage in diaglogue with featured composers and performers in an intimate setting.

There are at least four world premieres, as well as several New York premieres. See below for programming for each month.


August – Rediscovering Schoenberg

SUNDAYS, AUG 22 and 29, 2010, 4:00 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum website
11 East 52nd Street, New York
Subway: B/D/F trains to Rockefeller Center; 6 train to 51st Street; E/V trains to 5 Avenue
Suggestion Donation $10; seating first come, first served, no reservation necessary

Program

Charles Ives - String Quartet No. 1, movement I

Heinz Holliger - Eisblumen

Philipp Blume - S, M L, XL
World Premiere for string septet


Eric Lyon - Sacred Amnesia for tape

Arnold Schoenberg - String Septet (recently published fragment)
Arnold Schoenberg - Toter Winkel for string sextet (fragment)

Richard Strauss - Metamorphosen for string septet

Post-Concert Discussion/Workshop: As a prelude to the series, a post-concert discussion of Schoenberg’s early compositional attempts will shed light on the composer’s development and on what musical concerns would ultimately lead him to the composition of Pierrot Lunaire. Examples of the Schoenberg, Strauss, Holliger, and Ives works will introduce the basic questions of the series: what is structured composition? what is intuitive composition? and what are allusions in music? Emerging American composer Philipp Blume and conductor Michel Galante will lead the discussion.

September – Orbiting Pierrot Lunaire Book 1

SUNDAYS, SEP 12, 19, and 26, 2010, 4:00 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum website
11 East 52nd Street, New York
Subway: B/D/F trains to Rockefeller Center; 6 train to 51st Street; E/V trains to 5 Avenue
Suggestion Donation $10; seating first come, first served, no reservation necessary

Program

Gérard Pesson - The light has not the arms to carry us for piano

Joshua Fineberg - Tremors for piano
Beat Furrer - Invocation VI for bass flute and singer

Arnold Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire Book 1

Fabien Levy - I.- Les automates intimes de Tim Hawkinson from à propos
Fabien Levy - II.- Quand Jeff Wall regarde Hokusaï from à propos

Pierre Boulez - Improvisé pour le Dr. K for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, and cello

Roberto Sierra - Cancionero Sefardi for mezzo-soprano, flute, piano, violin, and cello

Post-Concert Discussion/Workshop: What is music about music? Using Schoenberg’s Valse de Chopin as a starting point, the discussion will explore the subject of modern composition through historical references. We will play examples of the Sephardic Jewish folksongs in Cancioniero Sefardi, and discuss the overall use of vernacular music using Gérard Pesson’s The light has not the arms to carry us as a focal point.

October – Orbiting Pierrot Lunaire Book 2

SUNDAYS, OCT 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2010, 4:00 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum website
11 East 52nd Street, New York
Subway: B/D/F trains to Rockefeller Center; 6 train to 51st Street; E/V trains to 5 Avenue
Suggestion Donation $10; seating first come, first served, no reservation necessary

Program

J.S. Bach - Aria from the Goldberg Variations

Fred Lerdahl- Three Diatonic Studies for piano

Beat Furrer - Fama Scene VI for bass flute and actress

Justin Dello Joio - The March of Folly (first movement) for violin, cello and piano

Hanspeter Kyburz - Danse aveugle for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Arnold Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire Book 2

Brian Ferneyhough - On Stellar Magnitudes for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and mezzo-soprano

Post-Concert Discussion/Workshop: What is structurally rich composition? Argento will lead a discussion to include an audience-participation performance of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music as a clear and didactic example of a process work that eventually achieves sonic richness though a simple algorithm. Miranda Cuckson will discuss ideas of imitative and canonic procedures by demonstrating parts of Nacht. Composers Justin Dello Joio and Tristan Murail will join the discussion on some Sundays.

November – Orbiting Pierrot Lunaire Book 3

SUNDAYS, NOV 7, 14 and 21, 2010, 4:00 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum website
11 East 52nd Street, New York
Subway: B/D/F trains to Rockefeller Center; 6 train to 51st Street; E/V trains to 5 Avenue
Suggestion Donation $10; seating first come, first served, no reservation necessary

Program

Michel Galante - Hommage à Ligeti for clarinet and piano

Lei Liang - Aural Hypotheses for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, vibraphone
New York premiere

Philippe Hurel - …à mesure for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and vibraphone

Philippe Hurel - Loops II for solo vibraphone

Arnold Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire Book 3

Bernard Rands - déjà for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and vibraphone

Post-Concert Discussion/Workshop: Using Bernard Rands’s aleatoric work Déja as a starting point, we will discuss various aspects of intuitive composition: composition resulting from an absence of formalized structure, intuitive composition in the Expressionist (Freud would say “unconscious”) tradition of Schoenberg, and intuitive composition in the French, subjective, Impressionist tradition.

December – Beyond Pierrot Lunaire

SUNDAYS, DEC 5, 12, and 19, 2010, 4:00 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum website
11 East 52nd Street, New York
Subway: B/D/F trains to Rockefeller Center; 6 train to 51st Street; E/V trains to 5 Avenue
Suggestion Donation $10; seating first come, first served, no reservation necessary

Program

Arnold Schoenberg - Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, Op. 47

Michael Klingbeil - Chroma: Summer Evening by a Lake for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and live electronics

Elizabeth Hoffman - lochan for electric guitar, live electronics and Irish Pipes, with performer Ivan Goff (Dec 12 and 19)
World premiere

James Falconi - …con solo le machine for violin and tape

Luigi Nono - A Pierre : dell'azzurro silenzio, inquietum
for contrabass flute, contrabass clarinet and live electronics


Tristan Murail - Winter Fragments for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and live electronics


Post-Concert Discussion/Workshop: As a conclusion to the Weekly Series, this session discusses how Schoenberg fused the three compositional orientations in his very last chamber work, Fantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment. Moderators will explore Schoenberg’s engagement with tone color and timbre through two works for the "Pierrot Ensemble" (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano) plus electronics. The discussion will address ways in which Schoenberg’s ideas led composers to work with electro-acoustic sounds as part of their compositional palette. The discussion, led by Michael Klingbeil, will continue with composers Elizabeth Hoffman and James Falconi.


            

The Lunar Movements series is supported in part by grants from the Alice M. Ditson Fund and the French American Cultural Exchange, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.