The 44th edition of the Dag in de Branding Festival puts its focus of attention on American composers who were not afraid to charter their own untrammelled course. You will hear pieces by George Crumb, Harry Partch, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Feldman and James Tenney. The crowning glory of this festival is the key work by James Tenney: Changes: Sixty-Four Studies for Six Harps. It is an awe-inspiring inventive exploration of microtonality. Although reams have been written about the piece since Tenney composed it in 1985, it is only now that six harpists have taken up the challenge to perform this extremely demanding masterpiece.
Harry Partch likewise puts musicians to the test. He felt that existing instruments cramped his creative spirit, so he developed his own instrumentarium from scratch. Ensemble Scordatura have built replicas of instruments he designed, and use them in a programme of early chamber music by this totally original genius. Morton Feldman composed pieces in which the sense of time disappears on the edge of silence. Geerten van de Wetering will give his rendition of Principal Sound, the only piece for organ that Feldman ever wrote. This will be followed in the Kloosterkerk venue by Pauline Oliveros’s electronic sound poem Bye Bye Butterfly.
When George Crumb first set eyes on Lorca’s poetry he felt a remarkable spiritual affinity and he devoted a large part of his oeuvre to setting texts by this distinctive Spaniard to music. Christian Karlsen will conduct, among other works, Ancient Voices of Children, one of the most impressive ensemble pieces that Crumb wrote, featuring Keren Motseri as soloist.
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