Jacob David Sudol(b. Des Moines, Iowa 1980) writes intimate compositions that explore enigmatic phenomena and the inner nature of how we perceive sound. He recently finished his M.Mus. at McGill University and currently resides in La Jolla, CA where he is working towards a Ph.D. in composition at the University of California at San Diego with Roger Reynolds, Chinary Ung, Philippe Manoury, and Rand Steiger.
Over the last five years some of Jacob's mentors in composition have included John Rea, Denys Bouliane, Philippe Leroux, Sean Ferguson, Dan Asia, and Craig Walsh. He has also participated in master classes with Danish composer Bent Sørensen and German composer Manfred Stahnke.
During 2005-2006, Jacob was the first-ever composer-in-residence for the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble under the direction of Denys Bouliane, in collaboration with the McGill Digital Composition Studio. He has also written music for the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Contemporary Keyboard Society, percussionist Fernando Rocha, saxophonist Elizabeth Bunt, and clarinetist Krista Martynes. As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, he composed the music for a collaborative dance project with choreographer Hillary Peterson, and he was the principal composer and pianist for El Proyecto de Santa Barbara, a chamber Latin jazz ensemble.
During the 2005 and 2007 Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques and 2006 MusiMars festivals Jacob was an electronic assistant for performances with Court-Circuit, Matt Haimovitz, Sara Laimon, Martin Matalon, Moritz Eggert, Manfred Stahnke, the Caput Ensemble, and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. These concerts were broadcast by the CBC and the European Broadcasting Union in over fifty countries throughout the world. He is currently a studio research assistant for Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds.
During his free time Jacob takes an active interest in religious phenomenology, cinema, acoustics, literature, poetry, and visual art. As a composer and performer, he always attempts to bring insights from these other fields into his work.
All music posted on this blog is posted out of love and the idea that for the truly great music of our time(s) to be known it must first and foremost be heard. If you like what you hear please support the artist by buying the recordings, scores, and/or encouraging the performances of the music in every way possible.
If you are the composer, performer, performing organization, artist or directly represent the composer, performer, performing organization, or artist of anything posted on this website and would like your material removed please contact me and I will happily oblige.
Before I post a few more contemporary two-movement works I wanted to post a few older two-part and two-movement compositions.
The first two works not technically two-movement compositions. That said I feel that both are good examples of a work constructed in two parts. For example, the prelude and fugue is arguably one of the archetypal pairs that comprise a whole. I’ve chosen J. S. Bach’s b flat minor prelude and five-voice fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 because it is possibly my favorite prelude and fugue.
Most of Chopin’s nocturnes were published in pairs and to this day are often performed in recitals that way. Opus 55 is probably my favorite of these pairs.
Beethoven struggled with the two-movement form periodically throughout all of his piano sonatas and arguably it wasn’t until the last try that he really got it right. While looking for two-movement compositions I noticed that the form is used far less regularly than three or four-movements. This might be because it is harder to balance multiple movements when there are only two of them. In my opinion it is this attempt at literal balance that makes most of Beethoven’s other two-movement sonatas less remarkable. On the other hand, it seems to be the misbalance between the normal-length tempestuous first movement and extended and almost transcendental second movement that makes Opus 111 so moving and unforgettable.
Performed by the Danish Notional Radio Symphony Orchestra
Available along with many of Nørgård's works on emusic
* * * * *
In the last three years I've been rather preoccupied with the idea of writing two movement compositions. In reflection, I think this preoccupation started after I heard Denys Bouliane present an analysis of his work "Rumore Sui." What struck me the most about this piece at the time was the two-sidedness of the two movements -- how, although the two movements are constructed in a very simple near perfect symmetry, one perceives something much more complex in their relationships.
This preoccupation has led me to work on two compositions that each have two movements -- a work for clarinet or saxophone and electronics and a violin and cello duo. To date, I have only finished the first movement of each work. (The violin and cello duo was premiered at a jury recently at the University of California in San Diego and the clarinet/electronic piece will be premiered in a rough form on Tuesday.) Not finishing either of these works has bothered me quite a bit and in attempting finally finish the second movement of the clarinet or saxophone and electronics works I've begun to listen to a lot of my favorite two movement compositions.
One of my favorite two movement compositions is Per Nørgård's Symphony #4. Lately I have been listening to a lot of music Per Nørgård. This is in part because he has written a number of successful two movement piece such as the Third Symphony, "Voyage into the Golden Screen," "Remembering Child," and his Fourth Symphony.
Nørgård composed his Fourth Symphony soon after he became obsessed with the work of outsider artist Adolf Wölfli (1864 - 1930). As a result of this obsession Nørgård dedicates this work to Adolf Wölfli. This obsession with Wölfli is also seen in the compositional style of this symphony which includes an extreme drama not found in any of Nørgård's previous work. In fact, I often hear this symphony as a parody of the monumental high structuralism that is so present in his previous Symphony #3. That aside, this symphony also includes a personal emotionalism drawn from Nørgård's reflections on some of Wölfli's imagination. In my opinion this emotionalism is largely what imbues Nørgård's compositions written since the 80's with an expressiveness that I am greatly drawn towards.
"Rumore sui” is the second in Denys Bouliane’s new trilogy of chamber works (the first being the previously posted ”Qualia sui" (2001-02) for piano trio and the final being “Tremore sui” for violin and piano (2004-)). The thematic linking in these works derives itself from the Latin word “sui” which means “of oneself." As the trilogy progresses a there is a progression towards a deeper level of introspective probing.
The two movements in "Rumore sui" are essentially two views on the same musical material -- the first movement an extroverted view and the second an introverted view. The second movement of this work with its early culminating vortex and the following hypnotic shattered modal faux-music-box is quite possibly my favorite of all of Denys's works.