• Monday, Dec 20, 2010

    eighth blackbird Performs Works by Acclaimed Contemporary Composers On January 31 in Zankel Hall




    Carnegie Hall presents the innovative and acclaimed new music ensemble eighth blackbird on Monday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. The group’s program features works by renowned living composers; including Missy Mazzoli’s Still Life with Avalanche; Pierre Boulez’s Dérive 1; Philip Glass’s Music in Similar Motion; Philippe Hurel’s …à mesure; Thomas Adès’s Catch, Op. 4; and Stephen Hartke’s Meanwhile, Incidental Music to Imaginary Puppet Plays.

    Commissioned by eighth blackbird, Missy Mazzoli’s Still Life with Avalanche is described by the composer as “…a pile of melodies collapsing in a chaotic free fall. The players’ layer bursts of sound over the static drones of harmonicas, sketching out a strange and evocative sonic landscape.” Pierre Boulez’s Dérive 1 is a study in trills. Layer upon layer of fluttering instruments create a dynamic, buzzing haze of ensemble sound that rises then falls, thickens then clarifies, overwhelms then recedes. The work is one of a series based on harmonies derived from a musical spelling of Swiss conductor Paul Sacher's last name.

    Composed in 1969, Philip Glass’s Music in Similar Motion, in the words of the composer, “is a headlong rush of fast, steady, seemingly unstoppable, constantly revolving eighth notes, resulting in music that is stark, bald, repetitive, hypnotic.” The title of Philippe Hurel’s …à mesure is a reference to the French expression "au fur et à mesure," which means "progressively" or "little by little." The piece is an unpredictable, constantly shifting kaleidoscope of textures and sounds that stretches the ensemble to its technical limits.

    Thomas Adès’s Catch, Op. 4, was written when the composer was 19 years old and takes listeners into the world of an English playground. Many styles and sounds are thrown together in this piece: a waltz, a passacaglia, a child's taunt, which conjures the exuberant experimentation of childhood. Stephen Hartke’s Meanwhile, Incidental Music to Imaginary Puppet Plays was co-commissioned by eighth blackbird and nominated for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music. It is one of several works of his that grew out of a long-standing fascination for various forms of Asian court and theater music.

    eighth blackbird returns to Carnegie Hall this season on April 30 for the Music of Steve Reich, an evening of music by the renowned composer paying tribute to the composer on his 75th birthday, performed by some of the biggest ensembles in contemporary music: Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kronos Quartet, and So Percussion. eighth blackbird will perform Reich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet and the New York premiere of 2 x 5, combining forces with the Bang on a Can All-Stars for a special live version of both works, which normally utilize pre-recorded tracks during performances.

    eighth blackbird
    eighth blackbird
    is widely lauded for its unusual performing style—often playing from memory with theatrical flair—and for its efforts to make new music accessible to wider audiences. Since its founding in 1996, the sextet has actively commissioned and recorded new works. Recent commissions include a concerto from Jennifer Higdon and pieces from Steve Reich, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Steven Mackey, David Lang, Stephen Hartke, and Bruno Mantovani. The group’s CD strange imaginary animals won two Grammy Awards in 2008, including one for Best Chamber Music Performance. Now celebrating its 15th season, eighth blackbird showcases music by the two most recent Pulitzer Prize-winning composers in its 2010–2011 recording and performing repertoire, featuring new and recent works (written for the ensemble) by both Jennifer Higdon and Steve Reich. Also this season, the ensemble will curate and perform in the Park Avenue Armory’s “Tune-In” contemporary music festival in New York City. Other highlights include performances at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art; a tour of Higdon’s new concerto On a Wire; Reich festivals on both sides of the Atlantic; a return to the Library of Congress for a concert that includes the world premiere of a new work by Stephen Hartke; and a new CD featuring Reich’s prize-winning Double Sextet on Nonesuch, which was released in September 2010. eighth blackbird was honored in 2007 with the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and a Meet The Composer Award, and the group’s numerous competition wins include the Grand Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award.

    Program Information
    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
    Zankel Hall
    eighth blackbird

       Tim Munro, Flute
       Michael J. Maccaferri, Clarinet
       Matt Albert, Violin and Viola
       Nicholas Photinos, Cello
       Matthew Duvall, Percussion
       Lisa Kaplan, Piano
    MISSY MAZZOLI Still Life with Avalanche
    PIERRE BOULEZ Dérive 1
    PHILIP GLASS Music in Similar Motion
    PHILIPPE HUREL …à mesure
    THOMAS ADÈS Catch, Op. 4
    STEPHEN HARTKE Meanwhile, Incidental Music to Imaginary Puppet Plays

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall. 

    Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced at $37 and $47, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For more information discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.




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