Latest Posts

Composing for 37 Years at MIT – Lyric Say

Within the intimate however acoustically reassuring Killian Corridor, with the cooperation of Collage New Music, the Institute’s Music Division hosted a night of Peter Little one’s latest works. A totally Americanized native of East Anglia, he might be retiring this yr after 37 years of instructing at MIT.  A lot of his fellow composers from across the Boston space turned out to honor him within the cheerfully packed corridor.

The celebratory Turning Level (2022) opened with a tintinnabulatory splash of sound — I had mentioned this brilliant work HERE April 11th 2022, mentioning the piano and brake drum. A cycle of main proportions adopted: A Golden Apple: Six Songs of Intimacy and Loss, accomplished final yr, for soprano and piano. The texts, by six completely different ladies poets, sounded as diverse because the completely different settings, starting from historical to trendy Beat technology: “Laughing Together” with jazzy fourth-chords and Berg-like sequences; a jerky boom-chick “Changing the Tire”; bells and arpeggios in “Untouchable,” with a protracted, considerate ending as in Schumann’s Dichterliebe; “The Beat Goes On,” translated from Sappho, with a waltz accompaniment; “At the Edge of Being” with livid triplet ostinati; and an enormous conclusion in trendy nursery-rhyme fashion, “Left-Wife Goose,” from gavotte to a dotted-rhythm fashion in “Pop goes the weasel,” with a textual content that Harry Partch may need used, starting “Hoddley, Poddley, Puddles and Fogs, / Cats are to Marry the Poodle Dogs.” A high quality, heartening, polyeclectic fashion revealed itself in these songs, however common listeners to Peter Little one’s oeuvre, which Collage has introduced  a number of time, already know his humorousness. Tony Arnold, soprano with a large expressive vary, introduced all these types to the fore with complete conviction.

The Yr of the Rat, 4 songs for unaccompanied voice (2020; texts by Fiona Sze-Lorrain), sung by Tony Arnold; and Stella celi (2021) for unaccompanied cello, typically with vielle-like open-string drones, performed by Jan Müller-Szeraws got here to us as a paring. Every artist mirrored the opposite’s expressions, noting that “The year begins with a piece not to be sung twice,” however nothing remained inscrutable to those veterans.

Six Dances of Demise (2020), which took inspiration from Hans Holbein the Youthful woodcuts (seven of which appeared within the handout), had been “rooted in Renaissance sources.” These adopted the spirit of ballate by Gastoldi or Praetorius, writ giant in postwar sarcastic types (post-World Warfare II reasonably than Thirty Years’ Warfare, however with a few of the earlier sense of macabre). The tonal vary included jazz left-hand concord, pentatonic D-minor gestures, impressionist arpeggios, quickly fingered piano octaves, and ostinati in totally tonal A minor. The complete Collage ensemble held forth, with a second percussionist (representing “Death,” gently stroking a Chinese language brass bowl for a pure sine-wave pedal level, mouthing a kazoo, and stamping with a livid tambourine): Catherine French, violin; Steven O. Laraia, viola (doubling toy piano?); Jan Müller-Szeraws, cello; Rachel Braude, flute and piccolo; Alexis Lanz, clarinet and bass clarinet; Christopher Oldfather, piano; Craig McNutt and Michael Weinfield-Zell, percussion.

All of those very completely different sorts of music demonstrated the protean spirit of Peter Little one, displaying him as probably the most attention-grabbing and heartily youthful composers wherever in America at present. I’ve been listening to his work for greater than three many years, and it continues to really feel contemporary.

Music-director designate Erich Nathan was readily available to benefit from the important work of the irreplaceable David Hoose, who retires after Collage’s season-closing live performance on April 21st.

Mark DeVoto, musicologist and composer, is an skilled on the music of Alban Berg, Debussy, and different early Twentieth-century composers. A graduate of Harvard School (1961) and Princeton (Ph.D., 1967), he has printed on many music topics, and edited the revised fourth (1978) and fifth (1987) editions of Concord by his instructor Walter Piston.

Latest Posts

Don't Miss