It seems somehow fitting after a week of inexplicable madness that Julia Wolfe’s My Beautiful Scream will get its New York premiere tomorrow night when the Kronos Quartet joins the Brooklyn Philharmonic for a concert called Kronos+Cosmos.
Wolfe describes My Beautiful Scream as a kind of non-concerto for string quartet. The work is a gradual unfolding and unraveling of a slow motion scream: the quartet aspect of the music is quiet and fine while the orchestra aspect is violent and menacing. Co-commissioned by the Orchestre Philharmoniue de Radio France, the Basel Sinfonietta, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, My Beautiful Scream was originally premiered in February 2004 at Festival Presence in Paris.
Wolfe began writing My Beautiful Scream shortly after 9/11. As she describes the time in which the piece was written: “I lived in downtown Manhattan not far from where the towers stood. At night I would have this strange sensation that I was going to die. In general my life was very beautiful, so it was this strange existence of living in beauty and having the sensation of a long drawn out internal scream.”
The concert will also include a performance of the visionary symphonic work, Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Each of the seven movements of The Planets will be accompanied by exclusive film footage provided by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Here’s a bit of good news for a change. Our regular Rob Deemer has accepted an offer from SUNY-Fredonia for its tenure-track composition chair position starting in the Fall of 2007.