On Stage at Curtis

Contemporary Music Presented by 8th Blackbird and Curtis’ Ensemble 39

A joint recital of contemporary music presented by 8th Blackbird and Curtis’ ensemble 39. eighth blackbird is a contemporary ensemble based in Chicago. They are currently in a three-year residency at the Curtis Institute. “ensemble 39″ is a chamber group of Curtis students and alumni, coached by eighth blackbird. Their program:

Music by Curtis student composers inspired by Monteverdi’s 8th Book of Madrigals
First up, six works by Curtis student composers receive their world premieres; each work is inspired by Monteverdi’s eighth book of madrigals, also known as the Madrigals of Love and War. Each work is performed by ensemble 39:
Daniel Temkin: Parade; Andrew Hsu; Thomas Oltarzewski: Monteverdi Sketches; Gabriella Smith: Green Mountain, Red Expanse

Lang: These Broken Wings
eighth blackbird
Tim Munro, flutist of eighth blackbird, told us that the final movement of this three-part work was the closest his group would ever get to being rock stars on stage. Here’s what composer David Lang has to say about his music:
“The three movements of “these broken wings” concentrate on three different physical and musical challenges. The first movement consists of music that requires incredible stamina and intense concentration. Sad, falling gestures dominate the slow second movement, and I gave the vague but hopefully inspiring instruction that the players should drop things when they are not playing. In the last movement I wanted to make a music that danced and pushed forward, in the hope that it would encourage the musicians to do so as well.”

Musical Word of the Week: Madrigal
“The term ‘madrigal’ has two distinct applications. One is to a poetic form and its musical setting as a secular song cultivated in Italy in the 14th century; the other is to a type of secular song that flourished in Italy in the 16th and early 17th centuries, also spreading to most other European countries, one of the most important genres of the late Renaissance. These two types are not related in anything other than name.”
Note: The Madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi, who lived from 1567 to 1643, certainly fall into the latter category.
(from the Oxford Dictionary of Music)

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