March 10, 2004 at 8:00pm "Fanfares
Words and music are inextricably linked for Ned Rorem. Time Magazine
has called him "the world's best composer of art songs," yet
his musical and literary ventures extend far beyond this specialized
field. Rorem has composed three symphonies, four piano concertos and
an array of other orchestral works, music for numerous combinations
of chamber forces, six operas, choral works of every description, ballets
and other music for the theater, and literally hundreds of songs and
cycles. He is the author of fourteen books, including five volumes of
diaries and collections of lectures and criticism.
Ned Rorem has been the recipient of the 1976 Pulitzer Prize in music, Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, and an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, as well as several ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for his books and articles. Among his many commissions are those from the Ford Foundation (for Poems of Love and the Rain, 1962), the Lincoln Center Foundation (for Sun, 1965); the Koussevitzky Foundation (for Letters from Paris, 1966); the Atlanta Symphony (for the String Symphony, 1985); the Chicago Symphony (for Goodbye My Fancy, 1990); and from Carnegie Hall (for Spring Music, 1991).
Split Horizon is scored for 2 flutes (doubling piccolo) 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, and strings plus a solo sextet consisting of flute (doubling piccolo and alto), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), violin (doubling viola) cello, percussion, and piano.
David Schober is currently a doctoral candidate and recently completed a yearlong fellowship at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities in Ann Arbor. During his undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory, he received a Theodore Presser Foundation grant to study at Yonsei University in South Korea. National recognition for his composition work has included two BMI Student Composer Awards, the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the San Francisco State University Wayne Peterson Composition Prize, the Aaron Copland Awards, and a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Naumburg Foundation, the BMI Foundation, and eighth blackbird.
About Split Horizon, the composer writes:
Scored for 3 flutes (3rd alternating piccolo), 3 oboes, 3 clarinets (3rd alternating bass clarinet), 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (including xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, vibraphone, triangle, snare drum, roto-toms, tenor drum, bass drum, slap sticks, crash cymbals, chimes, and brake drum), harp, piano, and strings.
has composed hundreds of compositions, including three symphonies, six
concertos, 200 hundred songs, and five operas. Among the orchestras
that have commissioned and performed his music are the New York Philharmonic,
Philadelphia Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic,
National Symphony Orchestra, and American Composers Orchestra. Institutional
commissions include the ASCAP Foundation, Barlow Endowment, Curtis Institute,
Juilliard Dance Division, Princeton University, and the Sundance Institute
for Television and Film. Mr. Hagen has won the Kennedy Center Friedheim
Prize, grants from Opera America, the American Academy of Arts and Letters
and the Rockefeller Foundation, the ASCAP-Nissim Prize, and the Columbia
University Bearns Prize. Trained at the Curtis Institute and Juilliard,
Mr. Hagen is a Yamaha Artist and a member of the Corporation of Yaddo.
He has taught composition at Bard College, the Curtis Institute, and
Princeton. Hagen was founding director of the Perpetuum Mobile Concert
Series, which premiered over forty composers' works.
About the work, the composer writes:
The World in the Evening is scored for 2 flutes (doubling piccolo, 2 oboes (doubling English horn), 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons (doubling contrabassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, harp, timpani, percussion, and strings.
Nicholas Maw studied at the Royal Academy of Music, part of a generation of composers who broke away from the conservative styles of traditional English idioms to discover twelve-tone techniques and serialism. Later Maw studied in France with the Schoenberg pupil Max Deutsch while there officially on a French government scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger.
It came as something of a surprise, then, when Maw fulfilled a BBC composition for the 1962 Proms with Scenes and Arias, filled with ecstatically songful writing, clearly derived from the native tradition, but enriched with extended harmonic structures that suggested a complex tonality quite different from the total chromaticism of the Viennese school. He has continued on this path, composing voluptuous music that does not turn its back on the traditions of the past, even when it projects the composer's own personal vision. Along with a body of passionate instrumental music, he has produced a substantial body of music for voice, ranging from the song-cycle The Voice of Love for mezzo-soprano and piano to a three act opera, The Rising of the Moon, composed for Glyndebourne, and the elegant tribute to Italian love poetry, La Vita Nuova. His largest and perhaps most stunning score was Odyssey, a 90-minute work for large orchestra, which he began early in the 1970s and did not finish until 1987.
Maw composed The World in the Evening on a 1988 David Cohen Commission for the orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Bernard Haitink led the first performance there on October 21, 1988. A Christopher Isherwood novel published in the early 1950s supplies the title, but none of the content of the piece. The composer describes the work as evoking a general feeling of evening in several different senses: a time of day, a time of life, a state of mind, and a state of the world. This already suggests a certain dark quality to the score, which rises, in its middle section, to a mood of considerable anguish.
it is subtitled Lullaby for Orchestra, Maw did not wish to
compose a simple genre piece. Yet the work, in one continuous movement,
begins with Lullaby I and ends with Lullaby II; the middle Fantasia
is angry and turbulent, building to a massive climax. The music unfolds
in clearly melodic terms; much of the thematic material is already present
in the opening lullaby. The orchestra is treated in the nineteenth-century
sense--as an organic ensemble of extraordinary richness, rather than
as a collection of many chamber ensembles. This orchestra produces a
rich sonority that varies and changes to support the increasing tension
of the central climax and returns to the hushed, barely audible sonorities
of the close.