Cantata Profana's Intense VISIONS OF SILENCE Features Rarities By Sciarrino, Ustvolskaya, Lucier

Cantata Profana's Intense VISIONS OF SILENCE Features Rarities By Sciarrino, Ustvolskaya, Lucier

CANTATA PROFANA presents its most dramatic show to date, a slow burn of intensely transcendental old and new music performed on baroque and modern instruments:

VISIONS OF SILENCE

Featuring rarely heard works by
Salvatore Sciarrino
Galina Ustvolskaya
Alvin Lucier
Alessandro Piccinini
Tarquinio Merula

The centerpiece is Sciarrino's brilliant "Ecstasy in One Act," Infinito Nero, starring the riveting and ethereal soprano Alice Teyssier conducted by CP's "Impressive Artistic Director" (NY Times) Jacob Ashworth
Program also features the NY Premiere (!) of Ustvolskaya's Symphony No. 5

St. Peter's Church Chelsea, 346 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011. Friday, January 18, 2019 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.. Tickets ($30) & Info: cantataprofana.com

Artistic Director Jacob Ashworth: "The experience of this program is going to be deeply personal for the listener. These are powerful works with starkly different perspectives, each transporting the audience someplace very rare, where time can stop."

The brilliant and audacious stars of New York's Cantata Profana-as comfortable on period instruments as they are on modern ones-juxtapose masterpieces from the medieval era to the 21st century in lovingly curated shows filled with unexpected works and daring theater. On January 18 and 19 they premiere their boldest creation yet: VISIONS OF SILENCE at St. Peter's Church in Chelsea (346 West 20th Street). The church is perfectly matched to this mystical program, with its slightly dilapidated yet beautiful looks and perfect acoustics (clear as a bell without being swampy). Lighting design and staging combine to intensify the drama.

The program centers around a theatrical presentation of SALVATORE SCIARRINO's 1998 Infinito Nero, an "Ecstasy in One Act" for voice (the exquisite soprano Alice Teyssier) and 8 instruments, and conducted by Cantata Profana's Artistic Director Jacob Ashworth. Infinito Nero hasn't been done in New York in many years-and very rarely before then.

The evening opens with American experimentalist Alvin Lucier's deeply meditative Music for Piano with Amplified Sonorous Vessels, performed by Daniel Schlosberg. A small collection of hollow objects is placed on the resonating board inside the grand piano, and each one of these "vessels" is used as a space with individual sonic environments. The audience is transported between all of these locations, and has opportunities to experience each one individually and layered over one another.

Out of the Lucier will flow TARQUINIO MERULA's (17th century) extraordinary and unique Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna-a lullaby of Mary trying to get Jesus to sleep, built on an eerie and incessant two-note baseline.

Following the Merula, Cantata Profana is elated to present the New York premiere, thirty years after its original composition, of Symphony No. 5 by the spirit of the Russian resistance, GALINA USTVOLSKAYA. Ustvolskaya is one of Cantata Profana's favorite composers, and her music is rarely programmed. Ustvolskaya's Symphony, titled "Amen," is scored for the odd ensemble of violin, oboe, trumpet, tuba, Mahler 6-style wooden box, and speaker. The text is simply the lord's prayer, spoken in Russian, but in Ustvolskaya's hands the effect is disturbing, violent, and strangely inert all at the same time.

After Ustvolskaya's Symphony, the audience will hear a solo lute (played by Arash Noori) perform ALESSANDRO PICCININI's Toccata Cromatica, which draws one back to the still reflection of the Lucier, gathering all listeners into a world of solitude.

Sciarrino's Infinito Nero concludes the evening. It is a 30-minute work based on the fascinating story of Maria Maddalene de Pezzi, a 17th century saint and mystic who experienced visions, during which she spoke sporadically but so lighting-fast that it took 8 scribes (hence the 8 instruments) to write it down. The piece is intensely suspenseful-rarely louder than a faint whisper-and requires a virtuosic level of hyper-focus from the performers.

PROGRAM DETAILS:

Alvin Lucier - Music for Piano with Amplified Sonorous Vessels
Daniel Schlosberg, piano

Tarquinio Merula - Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nonna
Alice Teyssier, voice
Arash Noori, lute

Galina Ustvolskaya - Symphony No. 5 "Amen"
Jacob Ashworth, violin
Arthur Sato, oboe
Miki Sasaki, trumpet
John Altieri, tuba
Doug Perry, percussion
Gleb Kanasevich, speaker

Alessandro Piccinini - Toccata Cromatica for solo lute
Arash Noori, lute

Salvatore Sciarrino - Infinito Nero, an Ecstasy in One Act
Alice Teyssier, voice
Julia Glenn, violin
Carrie Frey, viola
Hannah Collins, cello
Jessica Han, flute
Arthur Sato, oboe
Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet
Doug Perry, percussion
Daniel Schlosberg, piano
Jacob Ashworth, conductor

PERFORMERS:

Alice Teyssier, voice
Jacob Ashworth, violin, conductor*
Julia Glenn, violin
Carrie Frey, viola
Hannah Collins, cello*
Jessica Han, flute
Arthur Sato, oboe
Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet*
Miki Sasaki, trumpet
John Altieri, tuba
Arash Noori, lute*
Doug Perry, percussion*
Daniel Schlosberg, piano*
Erin Fleming, production and lighting design

*Core Artists of Cantata Profana

cantataprofana.com

Cantata Profana. Photo by Henry Chan A "crack ensemble" (The New Yorker) with "a taste for the dramatic" (The New York Times), Cantata Profana is passionately dedicated to new music, old music, "to most anything, so long as the mixture is put together thoughtfully and put across persuasively" (The New York Times). Its artists are specialists in a dizzying array of musical genres, able to transform themselves from "a stylish early music ensemble" (The New York Times) into "exacting and sensitive" performers of contemporary music (The Boston Globe) all within one show. At the heart of each signature Cantata Profana production is a vision for a new kind of programming: breathing life into classical music by carefully and lovingly curating rarely-heard works from every chapter of music history and reveling in how it all fits together.

In demand as experts in contemporary music, Cantata Profana has performed for the Princeton Sound Kitchen, MATA Festival, American Composer's Alliance, the Stone, and Music Mountain; their core artists' Spotlight Series performs at New York's most fabulous cabaret, Joe's Pub; and they collaborate with their sister company Heartbeat Opera on everything from Heartbeat's signature Halloween Drag Extravaganzas to full opera productions.



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