Explore Program Notes

Composer Portraits: Ann Cleare

Born in 1983 in central Ireland, Ann Cleare studied at University College Cork, where she received her master’s degree in 2008. She then took the foundation course at IRCAM and began doctoral studies at Harvard with Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku. Her music has been played widely in the U.S. and in Europe, by ensembles including the JACK Quartet, Argento Chamber Ensemble, and Elision.

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New York Polyphony: Tallis Lamentations

While Thomas Tallis’s name may not be uttered as quickly as Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach when naming the greatest composers in the Western classical canon — it should be. While his extant output is relatively small and mostly sacred in nature, we have vocal and instrumental works in a vast exploration of styles.

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Composer Portraits: Raphael Cendo

Raphaël Cendo is one of the principal exponents of what he calls “saturation,” driving at an excess in every dimension of musical performance: density, gesture, instrumental practice.

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Glass + Schubert

“By happy coincidence, this month ends with a double birthday: January 31 is the day on which Philip Glass and Franz Schubert were born. And while, chronologically speaking, 140 years separate the two composers, the affinities between them are striking.”

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Carnival of the Animals (2017)

Leonard Bernstein, in one of his Young People’s Concerts, explored the question, “What makes music funny?” He goes on to suggest, “The first and simplest way that music can be amusing is by simply imitating nature. It’s one of the oldest ways of making you laugh —by imitating things.”

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Tallis Scholars: Heinrich Isaac at 500

“The music is enlivened by syncopations and complex internal rhythms, as well as some judicious word-painting…”

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Bach Piano Concertos

“This camaraderie is an element of Bach’s music that I usually don’t focus on so much myself when performing as a soloist.”

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Composer Portraits: Chen Yi

“It melts into air and light, it’s like the space in Chinese paintings, it’s lled into the dancing lines in Chinese calligraphy, it’s the spirit in a human being’s mind.”

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Vox Luminis: Royal Funeral Music

“Morley conveys beautifully the sense of grief at the inevitability of death mingled with the hope of the resurrection — a true apposition of light and shadow.”

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Composer Portraits: Marcos Balter

“I love coming across things that I don’t understand, because that gives me an opportunity to stop, and figure out this new thing, and maybe incorporate some of it into my life.”

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Orlando Consort: Loire Valley in Song

“For all the refinement of the poetry and the technical sophistication of the music, the overall impression is overwhelmingly one of irresistible melodies and luscious harmonies that reach out and charm the listener.”

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Goldberg Variations

“[Bach] confronted his spiritual and intellectual questions, stated his vision of the universe, and perhaps even grappled with the joys and disappointments of his life through the medium of the written note.” 

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