Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Coupling" - a work for the Loboe

It's been a bit since the last update but today's post is very exciting to me. The ultimate goal of this grant is to foster collaborations that result in new works for the Loboe. Below is a live performance from our joint tour in April at the University of Fredonia's beautiful Rosch Hall.

"Coupling" - By Paul Coleman (2010)
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This work, you'll notice, is on the short side. It is actually a fragment of a larger work that Paul Coleman intends to write. David Plylar is the pianist in the recording. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Loboe Composer Profile - Hannah Lash

Hannah LashHannah Lash is based in New York City and is one of several composers who will be working on a piece specifically for the Loboe in the coming months. We overlapped briefly while studying at the Eastman School a number of years ago and I am thrilled that we were able to reconnect again for this project.

As a versatile and active composer, her music has been performed by many leading new music artists such as the JACK Quartet and Alarm Will Sound, among others and holds a PhD in composition from Harvard University. She is currently involved in a very exciting musical endeavor of her own called the
VIOLATIONS is a piece that will be performed in any inner-city area, using a loading dock as a stage. It will be scored for singer, percussion, and live electronics. The text for this 45-50 minute piece will be a non-linear compilation of personal stories—stories from people who have committed crime and stories from people who have been the victims of crime...Performances of the piece will be entirely free and open to the public; all that is needed is a loading dock in the back of an inner-city building and an area around this loading dock large enough to allow the public to gather.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Proserpina - An Opera by Wolfgang Rihm Reviewed

It's always nice to get a positive review in the New York Times. Below is soprano Heather Buck and the orchestra, complete with our parlor chairs. I do believe that I got the best one, though it's hard to tell from the picture...
The Loboe served me well during this premiere performance, especially with the multitude of low note entrances.

...the evening belonged to Ms. Heather Buck [soprano], who sang beautifully in the plush melodies at the start and adapted expertly to increasing angularity and high-flying acrobatics as Proserpina’s plight grew dire. Mr. Schmoll’s spare production, with a set and modern-dress costumes designed by Marsha Ginsberg, provided Ms. Buck with a mostly blank slate, and she was equally compelling as a sheer stage presence, whether self-absorbed or interacting with the chorus and even the orchestra.
Mr. Rihm’s music ranges widely and ingeniously through contemporary styles and includes a sort of historical framing, as he seamlessly weaves in patches of music from Goethe’s era. The “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice” appears in the orchestra at Proserpina’s line, “Your peaceful wandering, blessed ones,” and a bit of the Queen of the Night’s vocalizing from Mozart's “Zauberflöte” creeps into Proserpina’s rendering of “Through the night I will pursue him.”
As in the orchestral concert, Mr. Kennedy and the orchestra were superb advocates for Mr. Rihm’s imaginative music.