Performed by the Chicago-based Memoria Nova Ensemble, this program features compositions that reference musical and poetic traditions of the near and distant past, often as a way of escaping the confines of society.
Edison Denisov’s Sonata for flute and piano daringly synthesizes the styles of several composers censored by the Soviet Union, while Charles Koechlin develops a similarly polystylistic approach by freely drawing upon music from every era dating back to the middle ages.
Claude Debussy explores taboo subjects of lesbian sexuality through the lens of an ancient Greek courtesan’s poetry, while Salvatore Sciarrino quotes another of Debussy’s sensual masterpieces.
The remaining composers all escape into the world of birds. Kaija Saariaho instructs the flutist to recite a poem about birds while depicting through solo flute melodies the shape their flight makes in the air. Olivier Messiaen quotes actual birdsong, while Tristan Murail, drawing inspiration from Messiaen’s aesthetic, offers a newer spectral approach to the birdsong genre.
Claude Debussy – Selections from Bilitis
Edison Denisov – Sonata for flute and piano
Charles Koechlin – Sonata for flute and piano, Op. 52
Olivier Messiaen – Le Merle Noir and Petite Esquisses
Tristan Murail – Le fou à pattes bleues
Kaija Saariaho – Laconisme de l’aile
Salvatore Sciarrino – d’un faune
SHANNA PRANAITIS (flute)
ANDREW ROSENBLUM (piano)