Two space concert events this week explored an array of American musical kinds within the twentieth and twenty first centuries — from jazz and folks idioms to minimalism. Every live performance additionally included a late and infrequently heard chamber work by a European composer born within the nineteenth century.
The performances had been introduced by Voices of Change, Dallas’ trendy music ensemble, and the Dallas Chamber Music Society. I heard each by way of livestreams, though DCMS additionally had an in-person viewers.
On Sunday, at Southern Methodist College’s Caruth Auditorium, Voices of Change served up three items for small forces, alongside a large-scale work by Hungarian composer Ernst von Dohnányi.
To this style, the highpoint was the 20-minute Collision Etudes for solo oboe, by Alyssa Morris. Morris is herself an expert oboist, so she understands the capabilities of her instrument.
French for “research,” etudes are supposed to problem and enhance a musician’s abilities. This six-movement assortment is an intense exercise, with fast runs, fast leaps between registers and a wide range of up to date methods — from screechy multiphonics (two or extra notes performed directly) to swooning pitch slides and fluttering microtones.
These research additionally draw inspiration from work by feminine American artists. Jazz and impressionism mix within the first motion, primarily based on Mary Cassatt’s Summertime. Within the etude impressed by Native American Margaret Bradshaw’s My World is Not Flat, a playful Pueblo dance music comes up at times.
Oboist Erin Hannigan nailed the difficulties of the rating. Her tone was full-bodied all through her vary, and melodies sang out with a candy vibrato. She carried out the elegy of the fourth motion, “Rainbow,” primarily based on a portray by Alma Thomas, with such tenderness that it appeared to conjure up forgotten reminiscences.
Representing minimalism was Caleb Guevara’s Cyclical Dreamers, for violin and cello. An undergraduate at Stephen F. Austin College, Guevara received Voices’ younger composer competitors.
This six-minute piece options repeating, accented patterns, however doesn’t develop a lot past this concept. Violinist (and Voices director) Maria Schleuning and cellist Jolyon Pegis gave a good and dedicated rendition.
Scored for piccolo, percussion and harp, Hannah Lash’s four-movement Folksongs supplied a lightweight and intimate leisure over about 10 minutes.
After the doumbek — a Center Jap hand drum — faucets a syncopated groove within the first motion, the piccolo spins out a traditional-sounding tune, whereas the harp plucks lush harmonies. Within the final motion, descending scales handed between the harp and piccolo match collectively just like the enamel of a zipper. Flutist Helen Blackburn, percussionist Drew Lang and harpist Emily Levin equipped an alluring account of the piece.
Additionally calling for an uncommon mixture of performers is Dohnányi’s Sextet in C for piano, clarinet, horn, violin, viola and cello. The piece is rooted in German romanticism, significantly that of Brahms, although the jaunty finale takes affect from Thirties jazz.
Becoming a member of violinist Schleuning and cellist Pegis, pianist Liudmila Georgievskaya, clarinetist Andrew Sandwick, hornist Kevin Haseltine and violist David Sywak introduced heartfelt lyricism to melodic passages, nimble grace to the scherzando harking back to Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night time’s Dream and nice dramatism to declarative statements. However the strings’ intonation was generally off, and motifs tossed between devices weren’t all the time on the identical quantity.
Offered by the Dallas Chamber Music Society, the Viano String Quartet turned in a superb efficiency on Monday at Lover’s Lane United Methodist Church. Although the ensemble was shaped solely six years in the past on the Colburn Conservatory of Music, their belief and cohesiveness made it look like they’ve been performing collectively all their lives.
Violinists Lucy Wang and Hao Zhou, who alternated taking part in first, violist Aiden Kane and cellist Tate Zawadiuk seemed to be incapable of taking part in even a single observe out of tune. They shaded their strains with an elegantly restrained vibrato, and showcased a robust group sound — anchored by the strong depths of the cello, and build up by way of the velvety viola to the candy and centered violins.
Premiered in 2020, Caroline Shaw’s The Evergreen was impressed by a stroll in a forest. The 17-minute piece is, she says, her “providing to 1 explicit tree in that forest.” Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2013, Shaw can also be a violinist and singer.
Known as “Moss,” the primary motion makes a lot of vibrant, ethereal chords, with mushy figures shimmering up excessive. Trampoline-like bowing results create rolling waves of sound. Within the second motion, “Stem,” dissonances regularly emerge from legato textures.
Opening with scattered pluckings within the violins, the third motion, “Water,” evokes falling rain droplets that change in pace and depth. The final motion, “Roots,” is grounded by rolling chords within the cello over which repeated notes within the violins solid shafts of daylight.
It’s uncommon to listen to a recent composition twice in a live performance season, not to mention thrice. However that was the case for this listener, when Viano gave a compelling efficiency of Jessie Montgomery’s Strum. Impressed by American folks idioms, the piece additionally makes use of parts of minimalism.
It started with the violist holding her instrument like a ukulele and plucking essentially the most laidback tune. Later sections crackled with youthful vigor and spontaneity.
The ensemble then effortlessly switched gears into the introspective second motion from Florence Worth’s String Quartet in G Main. With its songful melodies suggestive of spirituals and late Romantic harmonies, the motion remembers music by Dvořák.
Dvořák composed his String Quartet No.13 in G Main upon his return to Bohemia after a three-year keep in America. Influences from his homeland embody evocations of birdsong and a folksy dance, although the piece’s sheer vitality might replicate his time residing in New York Metropolis. The work calls for virtuosity from all of the elements, but in addition poetic taking part in, and the musicians once more delivered the products.