SoundLAB Concert Program Notes: The Barnes/Stokowski Festival

PhilOrch Blog: ListeningLAB: The Barnes/Stokowski Festival

OCTOBER 12, 2018

posted by Robert Whalen and Katherine Skovira

“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future…”

—T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton” from Four Quartets


SoundLAB presents two contemporary chamber concerts on October 16 and 18 as guest ensemble in The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Barnes/Stokowski Festival. The Festival is in celebration of Maestro Leopold Stokowski and Dr. Albert Barnes, two neighbors, art lovers, and innovators who had a lasting and indelible imprint on the artistic climate of Philadelphia and contemporary music’s home there.

Stokowski was a stalwart advocate for contemporary composers and he was responsible for dozens of premieres with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Art collector and educator Barnes arranged unique configurations of the pieces in his collection into what he called “ensembles” to educate his students about the inherent connections between the art of the past and present. In the spirit of these two innovators, we have prepared “ensembles” of musical recordings to contextualize the pieces premiering as part of the Festival’s chamber concerts.

Barnes and Stokowski saw that the musical past was not a closed book but rather a continuum, and the art and artists of the past informed the creators of the present. In the same way, in these ensembles you will find formal and structural similarities, as well as stylistic differences: look for qualities of melody, harmony, dynamic contrast, articulation, how the composer used instrumental colors, and the overall impression that the composition communicates to you. The ensembles are organized around SoundLAB’s programs on October 16 and 18, and include pieces of the past, fellow contemporaries, and other works by the composer herself or himself.

Barnes’s ensembles were dynamic: Dr. Barnes constantly rearranged his works based on the message he hoped to communicate and the art that he discovered over time. In the same spirit, please e-mail us at info@soundlabensemble.com with what you think would make a great pairing with these works, along with a brief description of why, and we will be happy to consider including it.

“Ensembles” for “Into Darkness”, October 16 with the JACK Quartet and SoundLAB

ENSEMBLE I: Sophie Lacaze (b. 1963) Archèlogos II, for bass flute and audio track (2012) (US premiere) 
https://youtu.be/23-w_PUldwI
Pierre-Yves Artaud Flute


1. Edgard Varèse (1883-1965)
 Density 21.5, for solo flute (1936, rev. 1946)
https://youtu.be/J5-nkJz0guk
Claire Chase Flute

 
2. Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Syrinx, for solo flute (1913)
https://youtu.be/YEyKM13yf_4
Emmanuel Pahud Flute

 

3. John Lennon (1940-80) and Paul McCartney (b. 1942) “Revolution No. 9” (1968)
https://youtu.be/SNdcFPjGsm8
The Beatles

 

4. Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) Kontakte, for piano, percussion, and electronics (1960)
https://youtu.be/MzfmQ_vsARM
James Tenney Piano
William Winant Percussion
Karlheinz Stockhausen Electronics

 

ENSEMBLE II: Zosha Di Castri (b. 1985) The Contours of Absence, for two string quartets (2018) (US premiere)
No recording yet

 

1. Tristan Murail (b. 1947) Désintégrations, for chamber orchestra (1982)
https://youtu.be/4basuUUatf8
Ensemble Intercontemporain
David Robertson
 Conductor

 

2. György Ligeti (1923-2006) Chamber Concerto (1969-1970)
https://youtu.be/rCLIWnOsG4w
Ensemble Intercontemporain
Susanna Mälkki
 Conductor

 

3. Georg Friedrich Haas (b. 1953) in vain, for chamber orchestra (2000/2002)
https://youtu.be/ZAwvWLVfSkM
Argento Ensemble
Michel Galante
 Conductor

 

4. Vinko Globokar (b. 1934) Toucher, for solo percussion (1973)
https://youtu.be/XbsXAgIuTm0?t=116
Jean-Pierre Drouet Voice and Percussion

 

5. Zosha Di Castri (b. 1985) String Quartet No. 1 (2016)
https://youtu.be/M-xKy1qCjPg
Argus Quartet

 

ENSEMBLE III: Georg Friedrich Haas (b. 1953) String Quartet No. 9 (2016) (performed in total darkness) (Philadelphia premiere)

 

1. Gérard Grisey (1946-98) Partiels, for chamber orchestra (1975)
https://youtu.be/X6S7W8BkKmw
Ensemble Ars Nova
Boris De Vinogradov
 Conductor

 

2. Alois Hába (1893-1973) The Way of Life, Symphonic Fantasy, Op. 46 (1933)
https://youtu.be/TLpRPCTjQMc
Film Symphony Orchestra
Štěpán Koníček
 Conductor

 

3. Charles Ives (1874-1954) Three Quarter-Tone Pieces, for two pianos (1923-24)
https://youtu.be/izFgt2tZ0Oc
Alexei Lubimov and Pierre-Laurent Aimard Pianos

 

4. Charles Ives (1874-1954) Three Places in New England (1910-14, rev. 1929)
https://youtu.be/PLKDyze6GKg
Boston Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas
 Conductor

 

5. Ivan Wyschnegradsky (1893-1979) Prelude No. 5, from Twenty-four Preludes in Quarter-tones, Op. 22, No. 5 (1934)
https://youtu.be/WCvSkmIMRMY
Pianist unlisted 

 

6. Friedrich Cerha (b. 1926) Spiegel II (1960-61)
https://youtu.be/ZJxIWmYiHPc
Southwest German Radio Symphony
Ernest Bour
 Conductor

 

Ensembles for “At First Light”, October 18 with SoundLAB

ENSEMBLE I: Oliver Knussen (1952-2018) Coursing, Op. 17, for chamber orchestra (1979) (Philadelphia premiere)
https://youtu.be/PvZlEf_IQ7U
London Sinfonietta 
Oliver Knussen 
Conductor

 

1. Elliott Carter (1908-2012) String Quartet No. 3 (1971)

https://youtu.be/6njANe60Evw

JACK Quartet

 

2. Brian Ferneyhough (b. 1943) Dum transisset, for string quartet (2007)
https://youtu.be/aGm5GpVRs6Y
Artists unlisted

 

3. Benjamin Britten (1913-76) Third movement from The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34 (1945)
https://youtu.be/waP1N446Zb0
Berlin Philharmonic 
Simon Rattle
 Conductor

 

4. Alban Berg (1885-1935) Chamber Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Thirteen Wind Instruments (1925)
https://youtu.be/w9HN-3m4shI
Boulez Ensemble
Daniel Barenboim
 Conductor

 

5. Oliver Knussen (1952-2018) Flourish with Fireworks, Op. 22 (1993)
https://youtu.be/xLkoP6txNJs
London Sinfonietta
Oliver Knussen
 Conductor

 

6. Conlon Nancarrow (1912-97) Study for Player Piano No. 21 (Canon X) (1961-65)
https://youtu.be/f2gVhBxwRqg
Player piano

 

ENSEMBLE II: Misato Mochizuki (b. 1969) All that is including me, for bass flute, clarinet, and violin (1996)
https://youtu.be/6_Rx-Hh2Hjg
Klangforum Wien


1. Misato Mochizuki
 (b. 1969) Chimera, for chamber ensemble (2000)
https://youtu.be/gj7BixghbI0
Klangforum Wien


2. Gérard Grisey (1946-98) Le Temps et l'écume, for four percussionists, two synthesizers, and chamber orchestra (1988/1989)
https://youtu.be/CVkt26DB_-U?t=45
Ensemble S/WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln

 

3. Enno Poppe (b. 1969) Wald, for four string quartets (2010)
https://youtu.be/hKAvX70PLUc
Artists unlisted

 

4. György Ligeti (1923-2006) String Quartet No. 2 (1968)
https://youtu.be/lZwU7QmnCFo
Arditti Quartet

 

ENSEMBLE III: Michèle Reverdy (b. 1943) Dix musiques minutes, for string trio (1994) (US premiere)

https://youtu.be/BZLwWiZa7Vk
Guy Comentale Violon
Laurent Verney Viola
Dominique de Williencourt Cello

 

1. Olivier Messiaen (1908-92) Fourth movement from Quartet for the End of Time(1940)
https://youtu.be/UeSVu1zbF94?t=970
Barnaby Robson Clarinet
James Clark Violin
David Cohen Cello
Matthew Schellhorn Piano

 

2. Anton Webern (1883-1945) Five Movements, Op. 5, for string quartet (1909)
https://youtu.be/ELAKF8ZxDmg
Juilliard String Quartet

 

3. Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) Ainsi la nuit, for stringn quartet (1973-76)
https://youtu.be/KhfESb2OG2E
Belcea Quartet

 

ENSEMBLE IV: Michelle Agnes Magalhaes (b. 1979) Mobile, for prepared piano (2013) (US premiere)
https://youtu.be/zfH6cv3L71w?t=15
Neus Estarella Prepared Piano

 

1. Henry Cowell (1897-1965) The Banshee (1925)
https://youtu.be/4MnA-dUY3cY
Henry Cowell Piano

 

2. Chaya Czernowin (b. 1957) Sahaf, for saxophone, e-guitar, percussion, and piano (2008)
https://youtu.be/AjIiJo5Gzo0?t=35
Ensemble Nikel

 

3. John Cage (1912-92) Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (1948)
https://youtu.be/snTc5zByQ98
Steffen Schleiermacher Prepared Piano

 

4. Clara Iannotta (b. 1983) Limun, for violin, viola, and two page turners (2011)
https://youtu.be/QgxdhPp6_BQ
Melise Mellinger Violin
Barbara Maurer Viola

 

5. Michelle Agnes Magalhaes (b. 1979) Play and Theory of the Duende, for bass flute, violin, cello, and harp (2016)

https://m.soundcloud.com/michelle-agnes/play-and-theory-of-the-duende-for-bass-flute-violin-cello-and-harp-2016
Ensemble Multilatérale
Léo Warynski
 Conductor

 

ENSEMBLE V: Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964) Plea for Peace, a vocalize for soprano and string quartet (2017)
http://www.augustareadthomas.com/composition/pleaforpeace.html
Prayer and Celebration, for chamber orchestra (2006)
http://www.augustareadthomas.com/composition/prayerceleb.html

 

1. Luciano Berio (1925-2003) O King, for mezzo-soprano and five players (1968)
https://youtu.be/OPyRXjtOD3M?t=10
Göteborgs Symfoniker
London Voices
Peter Eötvös
 Conductor

 

2. Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Fourth movement from Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
https://youtu.be/RkS_Z7wyvNE
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin
 Conductor

 

3. Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) “Soupir,” from Trois Poèmes de Mallarmé (1913)
https://youtu.be/UPdsPhSQy58
Anne Sofie von Otter Mezzo-soprano
Ulf Forsberg and Nils-Erik Sparf Violins
Matti Hirvikangas Viola
Mats Lindström Cello
Peter Rydström Piccolo/Flute
Andreas Alin Flute
Per Billman Clarinet/Bass Clarinet
Lars Paulsson Clarinet
Bengt Forsberg Piano

 

4. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Agon (1957)
https://youtu.be/yEOYonbbVmc
London Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas
 Conductor

 

ENSEMBLE VI: George Benjamin (b. 1960) At First Light, for chamber orchestra (1982) (Philadelphia premiere)

 

1. Edgard Varèse (1883-1965) Octandre, for chamber orchestra (1923)
https://youtu.be/CvMhyp4W2bw
ASKO Ensemble

 

2. Olivier Messiaen (1908-92) Chronochromie (1960)
https://youtu.be/_0b7mpiz-xc
Bavarian Radio Symphony
Karl Anton Rickenbacher
 Conductor

 

3. Pierre Boulez (1925-2016) Cummings ist der Dichter, for 16 vocalists and orchestra (1970/1986)
https://youtu.be/3Xv7S5LW3LM
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart
Ensemble Intercontemporain
George Benjamin
 Conductor

 

4. György Ligeti (1923-2006) Clocks and Clouds, for chamber orchestra and 12-part women’s chorus (1972-73)

https://youtu.be/NH0v8Mqd_IU
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
George Benjamin
 Conductor

 

5. Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (1929-30)

https://youtu.be/6Sxpi0zybzA
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
André Cluytens
 Conductor
Samson François Piano

 

6. George Benjamin (b. 1960) Octet, for flute/piccolo, clarinet, violin, viola, cello,
double bass, celesta, and percussion

https://youtu.be/Da2AZcB8oGQ
London Sinfonietta
London Philharmonic
George Benjamin
 Conductor

 

SoundLAB Programs

Into Darkness
Tuesday October 16 
7:30 PM
American Philosophical Society
427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

Lacaze Archèlogos II, for bass flute and audio track (US premiere) 
Di Castri The Contours of Absence, for two string quartets (US premiere)
Haas String Quartet No. 9 (performed in total darkness) (Philadelphia premiere)

New contemporary music ensemble SoundLAB is led by Music Director Robert Whalen and Artistic Director Katherine Skovira, whose “diabolical enthusiasm … left me nearly begging for mercy … the artistic equivalent of NASA's New Horizons.” (Philadelphia Inquirer). Contemporary “flute phenom” (Philadelphia Inquirer) Emma Resmini launches SoundLAB’s “Into Darkness” with the American premiere of Sophie Lacaze’s Archèlogos II. Lacaze recorded the electronic track at an archeological dig in the castle of Termes in the Pyrenees of Southern France. The JACK Quartet, which the Boston Globe describes as “superheroes of the new music world,” will collaborate with SoundLAB on the American premiere of Zosha Di Castri’s The Contours of Absence, written in remembrance of composer Matt Marks. The JACK Quartet will close the program with the Philadelphia premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s String Quartet No. 9, a vast and dramatic work to be performed in total darkness.

Robert Whalen (photo by Keitaro Harada) and Katherine Skovira (photo by Todd Rosenberg)

JACK Quartet. Photo by Beowulf Sheenan

Augusta Read Thomas. Photo by Anthony Barlich

At First Light
Thursday October 18 
7:30 PM
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
23 S. 38th St., Philadelphia, PA

Knussen Coursing, Op. 17 for chamber orchestra (Philadelphia premiere) 
Mochizuki All that is including me, for bass flute, clarinet, and violin (US premiere)
Reverdy Dix musiques minutes, for string trio (US premiere)
Magalhaes Mobile, for prepared piano (US premiere)
Thomas Plea for Peace, a vocalise for soprano and string quartet (Philadelphia premiere)
Thomas  Prayer and Celebration, for chamber orchestra (Philadelphia premiere)
Benjamin At First Light, for chamber orchestra (Philadelphia premiere)

SoundLAB’s final appearance in the Barnes/Stokowski Festival is this virtuosic program of contemporary masterpieces, including six Philadelphia premieres and three American premieres, with works by Oliver Knussen, George Benjamin, and Composer-in-Residence Augusta Read Thomas. The program features performances of Thomas’s Prayer and Celebration and Plea for Peace alongside the works of French composer Michèle Reverdy, Japanese composer Misato Mochizuki, and Brazilian composer Michelle Agnes Magalhaes, whose gripping voices will reach a new Philadelphia audience in their American premieres.

Learn more about The Philadelphia Orchestra's Barnes/Stokowski Festival here.

The Barnes/Stokowski Festival is generously sponsored through a gift from Mari and Peter Shaw.

The participation of SoundLAB in the Barnes/Stokowski Festival has been made possible through the New Music Fund, a program of FACE Foundation, with generous funding from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the Florence Gould Foundation, Fondation CHANEL, the French Ministry of Culture, the Institut Français-Paris, and SACEM (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs, et Editeurs de Musique). Additional support is provided by the University of Pennsylvania Music Department’s Contemporary Music Series and the American Composers Forum Philadelphia Chapter. Additional support is provided by the University of Pennsylvania Music Department’s Contemporary Music Series and the American Composers Forum Philadelphia Chapter.

Special thanks to Flute Pro Shop, Night Vision Rentals, and Christopher Andrew Studios, the American Philosophical Society, the Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Music.

For more information, please visit www.soundlabensemble.com/programs.

Robert Whalen is Music Director of SoundLAB and Katherine Skovira is Artistic Director.

Republished from the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Blog, October 1, 2018:

https://www.philorch.org/blog/news/listeninglab-spirit-albert-barnes’s-“ensembles”#

Katherine Skovira