Listeners will be transported to an arctic sound world as the Talea Ensemble presents Danish Counterpoint: Celebrating Danish Culture and Art through the Works of Bent Sørensen and Hans Abrahamsen. These celebrated composers, both descendants of Danish Innovator Per Nørgård, have a great deal in common aesthetically including shared ideas of counterpoint, canons and drawn-out melodies. Danish Counterpoint highlights those similarities while exploring the uniqueness in each composer’s voice.
The program begins with Sørensen’s sister works The Deserted Churchyards (1990) and Funeral Procession (1989-90). Though each work can be presented autonomously, Danish Counterpoint is a rare opportunity to hear them as a complementary pair. Both works together explore the threshold of sound in terms of audibility with intricate textures outlining harmonies, creating a blurred effect against a stark Scandinavian sound palette. After bringing listeners in closer to catch the detail within the sonic periphery of Sørensen’s works, the Talea Ensemble will present the US PREMIERE of Hans Abrahamsen’s magnum opus to date, Schnee (Snow) (2006). Schnee is an hour-long journey that explores the “questions” and “answers” of a musical phrase in an entirely canonic listening experience.
About the Ensemble:
Consisting of a core group of eight musicians (Tara Helen O’Connor, flutes; Rane Moore, clarinets; Erik Carlson, violin; Elizabeth Weisser, viola; Chris Gross, cello; Anthony Cheung, piano; Steve Beck, piano; and Alex Lipowski, percussion), the Talea Ensemble often expands or reduces its size as needed.
The Talea Ensemble has given many important premieres of new works by composers including Tristan Murail, Jason Eckardt, Pierluigi Billone, Jean-Luc Hervé, Stefano Gervasoni, Marco Stroppa, and Fabien Lévy amongst others. The Talea Ensemble was the guest ensemble for the 18-day Spectrum XXI Festival tour in Paris and London and has twice been invited as guest ensemble to the Nevada Encounters of New Music (NEON) as well as La Ciudad de las Ideas (Mexico) and the International Contemporary Music Festival of Lima, Peru. As an active collaborator of new music the Talea Ensemble has joined forces with Ensemble Cairn (Paris), Hyperion Ensemble (Romania), and the iO Quartet (New York).
Assuming an ongoing role in supporting and collaborating with student composers, the Talea Ensemble has served as ensemble-in-residence at Harvard University, Columbia University, and New York University. The Talea Ensemble has recorded works on the Living Artists Label and Gravina Musica. Recent projects include a tribute concert in memory of Fausto Romitelli, a festival of emerging Italian composers, and its monthly series at the arts-driven Roger Smith Hotel. A special highlight for the 2010-11 season includes a concert at Miller Theatre for Pierre Boulez’ 85th birthday with Mr. Boulez in attendance.
Co-presented in collaboration with the Consulate General of Denmark in New York.