From Brattle Street Chamber Players
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Golijov, Last Round
[Scene: a dramatic vista. The camera pans over the rolling plains of the Argentine Pampas. Morgan Freeman appears on a cloud and intones:]
The best of times. The worst of times. The age of wisdom. The age of foolishness. Louts and Ruffians Scoundrels and Hooligans Lancastrians Yorkists Harvard Yale
[Cut: A West-Side-Storyesque High School Gymnasium Ice Cream Social: "the metaphor for an imaginary chance for Piazzolla’s spirit to fight one more time." (A note from the composer)]
Unison: Let's Rumble!
[Baptized in fluorescence, the Ghost of Tangos Past shimmies a mambo rumba. Time slows in a cyclone haze of dreamy love-colors. Space breathes breaths in tolls of nine. Does silence, perchance, give life to stormy death? Yet, no boxing ring: rather, the semisphere of strings, standing because they can’t stand to sit. Above, suspended, the spirit of Piazzolla appears “transforming hot passion into pure pattern.” Thus in beauty there is peace. Peace, the essence of sleep. Sleep, the essence of wetness.]
W.A. Mozart, Adagio & Fugue
2006 marks an important anniversary for lovers of music. 100 years ago, a genius brilliant beyond the scope of even the wildest imaginations entered our humble world. We perform this masterwork in his honor. It features an ebullient entrée in the “Freedom” Overture style allied to a tendentious fugal main course. And the mystery composer? Dmitri Shostakovich, here represented by his friend, former lover, and confidante W. A. “Wolfie” Mozart. Fresh from the KGB archives, the story of this secret love was not, nor will it ever be, featured in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus about Wolfie’s older brother Stuart, the renowned mime and heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune. Revealed to Solomon Volkov in a series of clay tablets sprinkled o'er the slopes of Mt. Sinai by the spirit of Shostakovich’s dowager mother, it will, however, form a forthcoming sequel to the completely truthful memoir Testimony. When Lorne Michaels approached us with the idea of turning Testimony II: Immortal Wolfie, Beloved Shosty into a seven-part made-for-TV comedy miniseries, we hired Ken Burns instead. Mission accomplished.
Julia Carey '08, String Intermezzo (revised: Impromptu, revised: "Impetus")
REUTERS: The Harvard Janitorial Staff have recently discovered a revision to this influential work in a dustbin in Pforzheimer House. Mikiko K. Fujiwara '07, who is not a Crimson editor, but is renowned as a world expert on the music of the reclusive composer Julia S. Carey '08, commented from Eliot House that "This is a groundbreaking find which has already shaken the foundations of Holmes Living Room. The repercussions will be academic fodder for years." It turns out that the piece is actually called "Impetus," as opposed to "Impromptu" or "Intermezzo." The significance of the working title "Impromptu," generally accepted through the work's entire existence, had been construed by one philologist, Zachary H. Taxin '09, also not a Crimson editor, as "I’m a prom tutu," which he derived from Korean research based on the existence of a secret ceremony involving ballerinas and taking place in the wilderness of Switzerland. The work's essential attributes remain unchanged, however: the orgasmic wall of sound, the wholesome dissonances trundled out like fake Rolexes in a Bangkok market, the driving 5/8 section, the melting melodies. That said, all three versions of this schizophrenic work will receive simultaneous world premieres in Paine at 8.
Grieg '63, Suite aus Holbergs Zeit
The über-frigid sound world of the Norwegian sub-Arctic formed the tranquil backdrop out of which Grieg wove his proto-neo-Classical tapestry, the Holberg Suite. He chose wooden instruments to represent the triumphant pine forests of his native land and their rustic heritage of itinerant peasant fiddling. The sensuous f-holes of the violoncello also captured, with fitting passion and drama, the presence (absence?) of f in fjord. As more immediate inspiration, Grieg turned to the spiritual essence of Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754), the first great Norwegian dramatist and Jarlsberg conoisseur. Grieg hoped that this piece of musical propaganda would reclaim Holberg from the clutches of evil Danes who considered Holberg's lifelong residence in Copenhagen evidence of a ‘Danish’ disposition. Quite similar, one might say, to the epic malapropism Ich bin ein Berliner, but uttered centuries before Kennedy ever wrapped his lips around an éclair. The success of Grieg’s speech-act, however, is questionable. In the spirit of poststructuralism, we present a continuum of results for your judgment.
Note: No animals were harmed in rehearsal, though we came close to wringing each others’ necks.
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