Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Washington's National Symphony Orchestra To Give New Classical Orchestral Music Autumn Try-Outs (But, Alas, No Shostakovich Opus 135)

... "In an interview about the piece before its performance by the Chicago Symphony last year, [British composer Anna] Clyne pointed out that she originally found the challenge of approaching her first work for a large-scale orchestra to be "overwhelming." In frustration, she began pounding away at a cluster of notes on the piano but then made the liberating discovery that this could serve as the kernel for the entire piece....

A number of Clyne's works incorporate taped soundscapes and elements from electronica-her chamber piece 1987, for example, hauntingly mixes live players with the recorded crunching of feet on the sea shingle-but << rewind << relies on the fully acoustic resources of the orchestra, with a brief optional part for tape and playback system in which a "pre-recorded rewind of the work" is controlled by one of the percussionists at the very end; the score provides for an entirely acoustic "alternate ending" as well. At the same time, Clyne incorporated some chance sounds she encountered while working on the piece in her student days in New York City. The fading siren of a passing ambulance, for instance, became translated into falling pitches on the horns. The result, in the present context, is a fresh reworking of the age-old pattern of a rousing curtain-raiser for an orchestral concert."

(c) Thomas May 2011 for the National Symphony Orchestra. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.



The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries
September 18–January 8, 2012
East Building, National Gallery of Art, East Building, Upper Level

'One of the finest sets of Gothic tapestries in existence will be on view for the first time in the United States. Depicting the conquest of two Moroccan cities by the King of Portugal, Afonso V, in 1471, the four recently restored monumental masterpieces teem with vivid and colorful images of knights, ships, and military paraphernalia set against a backdrop of maritime and urban landscapes.'



The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy
August 20, 2011 - December 31, 2011
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Legion of Honor

37 Mourners in 3D

Image credit: Detail from the Pastrana Tapestries Copyright © 2011 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC


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