A primo benefit to being a quartet that plays loads of new music is that we get first-looks at minty fresh scores. Our UChicago New Music Ensemble concert this Saturday is exactly that, and we are all impressed by the imagination and polish of the music featured by their talented composition students.
Phil Taylor's Spandrels is alternate doses of tranquility and eruption, draped across an architecture that keeps the listener satisfyingly rooted in the present. Jae-Goo Lee's Cold and Sharp pulls the camera in tight, examining a shivering and delicate world through microscopic-seeming string techniques. Andrew McManus has proven himself to be a major talent at writing for strings, and his The Sacred and the Profane moves through shades of prismatic harmonics, jazz-like jaunts and vital rhythmic counterpoint before disappearing altogether.
Esteemed Northwestern University faculty composer Hans Thomalla's Albumblatt has quickly become a cornerstone of our repertoire, and we are thrilled to be bringing this perspective-warping piece to Hyde Park to round out the program. Imagine glissandi originating from separate corners within the quartet, converging at microtonally-constructed major chords for just an instant. It makes us throw our hands up and shout, "It's SO GOOD!" every time we rehearse it.
Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 PM. FREE!
University of Chicago - Fulton Recital Hall (map)
1010 E. 59th Street, Goodspeed Hall, 4th floor
Austin wrote about Hans' piece previously on the blog, and you can see us playing it live at Northwestern University here: