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28 April 2022 Comments Off on May 2022 New Release Round-Up Views: 2117 CE News

May 2022 New Release Round-Up

May brings works for varied instrumental and vocal formations by Martin Bussey, Philip Cashian, Erika Fox, Rob Keeley, Tonia Ko, Anne LeBaron, Kevin Malone, Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson, Robert Peate, Jeremy Pike, Linda Catlin Smith, Daniele Venturi, and a new acousmatic work by Emily Doolittle.

Also available as a PDF and as an MS Excel Spreadsheet.

Martin Bussey

In days like these

for baritone and piano

Martin Bussey was asked by pianist Iain Burnside to write a short setting of one of Gerald Finzi’s letters to form part of a recital based around the composer’s letters and songs at the 2022 Ludlow English Song weekend. He chose this poignant letter, written in 1940 because it referenced Finzi’s concerns about his likely upcoming conscription and also the recent premiere of his Dies Natalis, alluded to in the song.

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The Rites Observed

for solo horn

The Rites observed is a metamorphosis of themes from A Brother Abroad, a work for Baritone and three instruments, commissioned from Martin by Pinner Music Festival and first performed in June in 2021. This score is also available from CE. The metamorphosis explores themes from the longer work which is focused on the life of the 14th century Bishop Peter of Corbavia. It centres on themes associated with the solemnity of Peter’s consecration of Pinner Parish Church in 1321, his intense spirituality, and also his colourful life as a representative of King and Church, including a lively escape from brigands…

This solo work highlights many aspects of horn technique and presents diverse challenges.

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Philip Cashian

The Distance of Night

for solo piano

The Distance of Night was written in memory of Simon Bainbridge, my old teacher, friend and colleague. Simon loved to travel and one of his favourite cities to visit was Venice. With that in mind, I’ve written a slow barcarolle.

The piece is one of 200 solo pieces written to commemorate the bicentenary of the Royal Academy of Music.

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Madrigali

for mezzo-soprano and cello

First performance given by Rosie Middleton (mezzo soprano) and Louise McMonagle (cello) at Folkestone New Music, 15/04/22.

With financial support from the Royal Academy of Music.

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Emily Doolittle

Shimmering

acousmatic work

The sounds in Shimmering are derived entirely from recordings of humpback whale, sperm whale, and musician wren songs, using Soundhack and Audacity. Thank you to Patrick Miller, Luke Rendell, and Henrik Brumm, for the animal song recordings used to make this piece.

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Erika Fox

David Spielt Vor Saul

for piano and orchestra

This work was inspired by the piano playing of Julian Jacobson, for whom it was written, and also by the poem David Singt Vor Saul by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and first performed by Julian Jacobson and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Geoffrey Paterson at City Halls, Glasgow, on 13 January 2022.

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Rob Keeley

Movements

for flute and piano

These five sharply contrasted movements (the apparently abstract, non-committal title referring, with admiration, to Stravinsky’s late, spiky masterwork) nonetheless form a coherent whole, the first and last movements being different presentations of the same basic idea.

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Stargaze

for clarinet in Bb, violin and piano

A single movement in several sections, of predominantly fast-moving, exultant, energetic music, suggestive, I hope of a brilliant, starlit night sky.

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String Quartet No.3

for two violins, viola and cello

This single movement owes much to a deep study of, and absorption in, the quartets of Joseph Haydn. A sonata Allegro, both perky and robust, initiates the discourse: the ‘classical’ 4/4 rhythmic character being occasionally interrupted by a dance-like idea in 11/4, with the more lyrical second subject material starting bar 32. An Andante (105) introduces a chorale underlaid by pizzicato and buzzing repeated triplets, giving way to a loosely palindromic Adagio, in which silence plays a significant role. A Scherzo and Trio follow, complete with internal repeats: then an quasi Rondo Allegro is finally capped with a short Coda (318) which echoes the palindromic adagio, resolving into a bright D major sonority.

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Tonia Ko

Giving Ground

for wind octet

Commissioned by the Howard Hanson Institute for American Music in Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Eastman School of Music.

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Anne LeBaron

blitz

for solo piano

With its origins in a game of Bullet Chess, blitz, my composition for solo piano, interprets lightningquick chess moves by loosely mapping the pieces, the board, and the moves into various parameters that serve as source materials used in the composition.

I’m grateful to Vicki Ray for giving me the opportunity to write the piece for her, and for her blazing performance on the Piano Spheres concert premiere at Zipper Hall, Los Angeles, October 28, 2014.

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Dish

for soprano and chamber ensemble (4-5 players)

A rarely performed and raucous postmodern ode emanating from the frontlines of the sexual battlefield, Dish, based on Jessica Hagedorn’s evocative poetry, invites freewheeling textual commentaries and embellishments. These appear as fragments of responses to late 1980’s interviews I conducted with strangers in New York’s Central Park about their go-to ‘pick-up’ lines, and as clips of high-voltage improvisations recorded by the poet, an actor, and a boyfriend.

Soprano Dora Ohrenstein, who commissioned and recorded Dish in 1990, writes in the liner notes that it is the “musical equivalent of a Rauschenberg collage.”

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Kevin Malone

Your Call is Important to Us

for violin and soundtrack

Your Call is Important to Us for violin and on-hold sounds was premiered by Madeleine Mitchell on 17 March in the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Manchester UK. The piece exclusively uses voices and music collected over the past three years using a digital recorder’s microphone to capture phone calls from the miniature speaker of a smartphone, thus preserving the caller’s traumatc and crackling sonic experience. This piece marks the beginning of a series of works which document the citzen’s (eg the composer’s) batles with Vodafone, Traford City Council, GOV.UK, HMRC, The Guardian, Center State Bank, AA Insurance, and several dozen more organisatons who assure the populaton that callers’ recordings are necessary for quality and training purposes.

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Your Call is Important to Us (acousmatic version)

acousmatic work

A company makes a mistake. A telephone call is made to try to correct it. A maze of menu options confound the caller. The company puts the caller on hold, offering insincere automated apologies. The caller is forced to listen to poorly-recorded music, punctuated by, “Your position in the queue is…”

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Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson

Prelude No.4

for solo cello

This Prelude is based slightly on the song “Blessed Assurance,” a favorite song of The Great Black actress Cicely Tyson. This Prelude is in memory of her.

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Prelude No.6

for solo cello

For Mariana in Memoriam.

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Robert Peate

January

from Mensus Meditations for violoncello and organ

January was premiered by Hilary Norris (organ) and Joris Boon (‘cello) in Leominster Priory on 10th April, 2022.

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Jeremy Pike

Closed Circuit

for clarinet, live electronics and piano

In this work the clarinet sound is treated with a digital delay line which is capable of transposing its pitch up or down two octaves in real time. Up to three additional pitches are added, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes using a specified delay. Echo and reverberation effects are increasingly employed as the piece progresses. The clarinet and piano parts are derived from two five-note cells which are constantly transposed through the cycle of fifths, each instrument going in opposite directions around what is effectively a closed loop. The title originates from this structural device whilst suggesting images of various applications of the phrase “closed-circuit” which are expressed in the music.

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Sonata No.2

for oboe and piano

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Linda Catlin Smith

Brocade

for harpsichord and piano

In combining these two keyboard instruments, I felt I was interlacing two distinctly different colors into a single fabric; the two separate and very beautiful sound worlds wrap around each other, woven but never completely blended. Brocade, a thick, interwoven silk fabric, came to mind as I was working, as it seemed to reflect both the weightiness of the instruments and the delicacy of their colours. I am indebted to Katelyn Clark and Luciane Cardassi for their beautiful interpretation, and to the Canada Council for the Arts for supporting the commission.

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Blue Sky

for percussion quintet

In consultation with Bob Becker I discovered the songbells, a distinctive and beautiful cousin of the glockenspiel, similar to it, but lower in pitch. I decided to surround the songbells with a choir of variegated pitched metals. I am fascinated by the complexities and subtleties in cymbals, in pitched metals, in gongs. I decided to work within a restricted palette of these instruments, to work with gradations of pitch and colour, to get lost in a cloud of cymbals and a thicket of triangles. Blue Sky was commissioned by Nexus through the generosity of the Ontario Arts Council, and is dedicated to them.

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Nightshade

for clarinet in Bb, violin, viola da gamba and double bass

For Prague Quiet Music Collective.

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Rose with Thorns

for violin and harpsichord

Rose with Thorns (2012) was commissioned by Les Amusements de la Chambre through the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Music Garden. The title is open to numerous interpretations. The piece contrasts the soft, silky line of the violin with the thorny nature of the harpsichord, (its strings are after all plucked by quills). But for me the title refers to my sense of harmony, the idea of juxtaposing pleasing sounds with the occasional more dissonant or biting tones. I often consider dissonance in music (the right wrong notes) as the thorns on the rose of harmony.

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Daniele Venturi

Tempo 22

for solo cello

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