Sunday: LPR Celebrates Carter

Tonight at 7:30 at Le Poisson Rouge, cellist Fred Sherry, soprano Tony Arnold, pianist Ursula Oppens, and several other estimable performers known for their interpretations of Elliott Carter’s music join Ensemble LPR to celebrate and remember the composer. The program includes the song cycle Tempo e Tempi and the Quintet for Piano and Strings.

Tickets/more info here.

A Combustible Combination

Tonight (May 30th), C4 Ensemble, a choir comprised primarily of composers and conductors, partners with amplified chamber ensemble Fireworks for a gig at Le Poisson Rouge: C4′s first at the venue.

In a program titled “When Sparks Fly,” these combined forces present music by Fireworks founder Brian Coughlin, Jonathan David, Karen Siegel, and Martha Sullivan. The program is repeated on Saturday at MMAC (details below).

WEDNESDAY, May 30, 2012

(Le) Poisson Rouge

158 Bleecker St (Thompson & Sullivan)

7:30 PM (doors open at 6:30)

$15 Advance Purchase/$20 Day of Performance at lepoissonrouge.com

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Theatre at MMAC

248 West 60th St (10th-West End)

8:00 PM

$15 at the door or online

Tuesday: Garth Knox at LPR (CD; Concert Preview)

Saltarello

Garth Knox, viola & fiddle

with Agnès Vesterman, cello & Sylvain Lemêtre, percussion

ECM Records CD 2157

Dance music in multiple forms, from the saltarello, a Venetian dance dating back to the Fourteenth century, to  Breton and Celtic folk music, as well as transcriptions of medieval era compositions, Renaissance era consort music, and contemporary fare, are featured on Saltarello, violist Garth Knox’s latest ECM CD.  Among the early music slections, Particularly impressive is a Vivaldi concerto, performed in a duo arrangement for viola d’amore and cello. Its interpreters, Knox and Agnès Vesterman, take this continuo less opportunity to accentuate a supple contrapuntal interplay between soloist and bass line. Equally lovely is a piece that combines music by Hildegard and Machaut in a kind of medieval style mash-up. Also stirring is this duo’s version of John Dowland’s most famous piece, Lachrimae, perhaps known best in its incarnation as the song “Flow My Tears.”

Knox, who is a past member of both Ensemble Intercontemporain and the Arditti String Quartet, also performs the disc’s newer material with consummate musicality: he also has the bedeviling habit of making virtuosic writing sound far too easy to play (his poor violist colleagues!). Knox’s own composition, “Fuga Libre,” combines jazz rhythms and neo-baroque counterpoint with ever more complicated harmonic tension points and several instances in which Knox demonstrates various extended playing techniques. Meanwhile, Kaaija Saariaho’s Vent Nocturne, an eerily evocative and tremendously challenging piece for viola and electronics, is given a haunting, sonically sumptuous rendering.

________________________________

Tomorrow night, Knox celebrates the release of the CD at LPR (details below). Early music, new pieces by and for Knox, and lovely comestibles on menu and on tap? Sounds like my evening’s planned!

Event Details

Tuesday May 22nd – Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30

Le Poisson Rouge

158 Bleecker Street, NYC| 212.505.FISH

music of Hildegard von Bingen, Guillaume de Machaut
John Dowland, Henry Purcell, Antonio Vivaldi, Kaija Saariaho, and Garth Knox

Julia Holter: “In the Same Room” (Video)

On March 6th, Julia Holter is having a release party for her new release Ekstasis (out 3/8 on RVNG Intl.) at Le Poisson Rouge (show info here).

Check out the video for lead off track “In the Same Room” below.

Opening the show is Sequenza 21 friend and modern music pianist extraordinaire Sarah Cahill. Sarah’s performing a solo set entitled “The Mystical Tone,” -’exploring the work of composers who were inspired by Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, astrology, and Transcendentalism, among them Scriabin, Dane Rudhyar, Ruth Crawford, Henry Cowell, and Erik Satie.’ Indeed,that’s good curating:  its mystical tone will be an excellent complement to Julia Holter’s otherworldly out pop.

2/1: Beiser and Ziegler Tango at LPR

Cellist Maya Beiser and pianist Pablo Ziegler appear at Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday, February 1st at 7:30 (doors open at 6:30). They are performing Canyengue, the Soul of Tango, a program that features the works of Astor Piazzolla.

From 1978-’88, Ziegler was a member of Piazzolla’s band. His arrangements for cello and piano translate Piazzolla’s compositions, such as Libertango and Adíos Nonino, to a more intimate medium, but retain the genre’s vibrant spirit. The duo will also perform several pieces by Ziegler, and Beiser will take a solo turn, performing Osvaldo Golijov’s Mariel.

Below, hear a stream from File Under ?’s Tumblr page of the duo playing Fuga Y Misterio, a somewhat lesser known piece by Piazzolla, arranged by Ziegler.

“Fuga Y Misterio”

Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and Sullivan), in the West Village, NYC.  Tickets are $15, available through the club’s website, www.lepoissonrouge.com, or call 212/505-FISH (3474).

GVSU at LPR

GVSU live at LPR

In C
Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble
Ghostly International + Wordless Music

Irrespective of genre, GVSU NME’s latest rendition of Terry Riley’s In C is one of the best live albums released in 2010. Recorded at a November, 2009 gig at Le Poisson Rouge, the group presents a 65-minute rendition of the piece: by no means as long as many performances, but far more luxurious than their taut rendition on the In C Remixed CD (Innova, 2009).

Unlike some postmodern interpretators, such as Acid Mother’s Temple, who do violence to the form of In C in an indulgent  misunderstanding of the open spirit of its performance instructions, GVSU NME have provided a thoughtful take on Riley’s intentions. It’s a reasonably faithful interpretation of the score’s flexible notation garbed in innovative instrumentation choices.

Though GVSU NME is, at its core, a 16-person group of contemporary classical musicians, there’s more than a bit of genre-bending going on here. The concert starts off with a skronk-filled free jazz introduction; perhaps a bit of an overstep, but a fascinating one! The performance also features an electronica component: the beats and effects of laptop performer Dennis DeSantis. Yet all of these disparate elements cohere into a rendition of In C that’s both impeccably prepared and frequently thrilling. It suggests that Riley’s mutable minimalist declaration still has the capacity to sound surprisingly fresh and eminently vital.

MP3: In C Live (excerpt)

Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads

It’s hard to believe that it has been five years since Hurricane Katrina. The CD release of Ted Hearne’s Katrina Ballads on New Amsterdam Records is a grim reminder that New Orleans still remains a beleaguered city, one that has yet to recover from the storm, doubtless at least in part due to all manner of official incompetence and governmental neglect. Source recordings that chronicle the previous administration’s bungled handling of the disaster serve as a jumping off point for Hearne’s scathingly satirical, yet often affecting, song cycle.

The record’s out on 8/31, but there’s a release party at Le Poisson Rouge to welcome the album on 8/24 at 7:30 PM. In the meantime, we’ve got a teaser video:


Ted Hearne – Barbara Bush 9.5.05 from Satan's Pearl Horses on Vimeo.

Darmstadt Invades LPR

JACK Quartet and the International Contemporary Ensemble are the ensembles-in-residence at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt this summer. Tonight at Le Poisson Rouge, our estimable colleagues will be giving a “send-off” concert, presenting a program of the music they’ll play in Darmstadt at 7:30 PM. Doors open at 6:30. If you make it to the show and see yours truly, say hi!

It Ain’t Necessarily (Just) So

I’m still reveling in the memory of So Percussion’s appearance with the Orchestra of the League of Composers last week. And here’s a new recording of music of another sort altogether!

So’s latest collaboration is with Baltimore electronica duo and frequent Björk collaborators Matmos. On Treasure State, a recording for the Cantaloupe imprint, they create a patchwork quilt of found object percussion, glitchtronica beats, synthetic signatures, and complex rhythmic structures. Despite the multifaceted nature of the proceedings, the underlying groove remains eminently danceable.

Here’s a taste of their work: a YouTube clip from their recent show at Le Poisson Rouge.