Caramoor Presents Two Premieres By Anna Clyne Via Livestream, Plus Sound Art Installation
This summer, Caramoor presents two live-streamed premieres by Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne as part of its Summer 20/2.0. Both works are inspired by Beethoven's music in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. On Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 7:00pm, the Calidore String Quartet performs the New York premiere of Clyne's Breathing Statues and on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 7:00pm, members of The Knights give the world premiere of her Shorthand for solo cello and string quintet.
The Calidore String Quartet's Thursday, July 16, 2020 concert pairs the New York premiere of Anna Clyne's 15-minute quartet Breathing Statues with selections from Bach's The Art of the Fugue, BWV. 1080 and Beethoven's Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 and Grosse Fuge in B-flat Major, Op. 133. Breathing Statues is inspired by Beethoven's three final string quartets - Op. 130, 135, and Op. 133 - and received its world premiere at Princeton University followed by performances at the Celebrity Series of Boston and Penn State University. Clyne was moved by a specific moment in the Grosse Fuge, where the music drives forward relentlessly to an E-flat Major chord, followed by a long silence, then pivots to a C Major chord. She explains, "I was struck by its intensity. It made me feel like the music is really breathing." Clyne found several other moments of breathing, sighing, and stuttering in the last three quartets, then wove in references throughout Breathing Statues. At times, Clyne has the four players pause together as a unit for the duration of a deep breath - which reminded Clyne of Rainer Maria Rilke's poem "On Music," whose line "the breathing of statues" inspired the work's title.
Clyne's Shorthand for cello and string quintet receives its world premiere by The Knights with member cellist Karen Ouzounian as soloist on Thursday, July 23, 2020 alongside a performance of Brahms's String Sextet No. 2 in G, Op. 36. Shorthand takes its title from Leo Tolstoy's novella, The Kreutzer Sonata, which itself was inspired by Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata for violin and piano, in which he writes, "Music is the shorthand of emotion. Emotions, which let themselves be described in words with such difficulty, are directly conveyed to man in music, and in that is its power and significance." Shorthand references two themes from Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata: the opening theme, as well as a second theme that Janácek also incorporated in his own String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata."
Clyne's work will also be on display in Caramoor's rotating annual sound art installation "C," a newly commissioned site-specific sound-sculpture from MacArthur Fellow Trimpin. Comprising a 16-foot-high, double C-shaped frame supporting two octaves of chimes, this interactive installation will play works especially composed for the range and acoustics of the chimes composed by Clyne as well as Christopher Cerrone, Missy Mazzoli, and Nico Muhly. The installation, curated by Chicago-based sound artist and former Merce Cunningham sound engineer Stephan Moore, is tentatively scheduled to begin on July 16.
A world premiere recording of Anna Clyne's cello concerto DANCE, recorded by cellist Inbal Segev with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop, was recently released on the Avie Records label. DANCE is inspired by a poem by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, imploring the reader to dance in the times of pain, anguish, struggle and freedom. Listen to the album.
Calidore String Quartet
Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 7:00pm
Calidore String Quartet
Bach - Selections from The Art of the Fugue, BWV. 1080
Anna Clyne - Breathing Statues (New York Premiere)
- Intermission -
Beethoven - Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130
Beethoven - Grosse Fuge in B-flat Major, Op. 133
Musicians from The Knights
Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 7:00pm
Anna Clyne - Shorthand (World Premiere)
Karen Ouzounian, cello
Brahms - String Sextet No. 2 in G, Op. 36