Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Our program is called "Etudes and Studies" and features works by a diverse assortment of composers, from Debussy and Rachmaninoff to new works by c)i composers Ryan Streber and Douglas Boyce. It seems to me that, rather than focusing on etudes as means of exploring or showcasing instrumental virtuosity, this program looks at "studies" more from a compositional standpoint: the composer's work piece, in which he/she examines a question of craft or expression using a certain medium (say, string quartet, or viola and clarinet duo). So we have the quietly flowing counterpoint and displaced rhythms of Dallapiccola's Two Studies for violin and piano, the concise working-out of ideas in Berio's Study for String Quartet, and George Benjamin's remarkable exploration of the sound of two violas, layering them in waves, each climbing to high singing notes, tossing pizzicatos back and forth, and together keeping a propulsive triplet motion going though the piece. Brilliant piece for the performers but a fascinating study in sound and construction too! I'm looking forward to hear the whole program- hope to see you!