Thursday, April 11, 2019

Felder Portrait Concert

The Center for 21st Century Music is pleased to announce a portrait concert featuring UB Distinguished Professor and Center Director David Felder’s works for string quartet and his more recent violin concerto to take place on May 9th, performed by two world-class new music groups: the Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Signal.

(Arditti Quartet)

The first part of the program will feature the acclaimed Arditti Quartet playing Felder’s three works for the medium: Third Face, from 1998, Stuck-Stücke, from 2007, and Netivot, from 2016. All three pieces were written for and premiered by the Ardittis, as part of a collaborative process dating back more than twenty years.

In Third Face, Felder was inspired by the 1964 novel The Face of Another, by Japanese author Kōbō Abe, although the music doesn't illustrate the action but rather takes the rough scenario as point of departure. With respect to the musical structure, the program notes tell us that "the work sets up a linear series of coded fragments based upon interval. These fragments are then layered through four contrapuntal passes through the materials, each pass separated by increasingly lengthy passages solely in harmonics. As the work unfolds the ‘coded fragments’ begin to coalesce eventually becoming melodic line."

Stuck-stücke, the second work in the program, is concerned with short form. It consists of a set of thirteen miniatures in three discontinuous, but related, streams of musical material. However, Felder preserves continuity by means of temporal proximity, since the pieces are to be played in close juxtaposition to one another, with minimal transition. The insistent iteration of small gestures in many of the pieces is what gives them the "stuck" character addressed in the title.

In Netivot—the more recent quartet, more inwardly oriented than the previous two—the material is "abstracted from an array of some biblical text", in the words of the composer. It also resulted from a larger collaboration, because its live performance requires the projection of a video consisting of images of Nature recorded in the American West by visual artist Eliot Caplan.

(Caplan: still image from Netivot Video)

The second part of the concert will consist of the performance of Felder’s Jeu de Tarot, a concerto for solo violin and sinfonietta from 2017 which draws its inspiration from the card deck long used as a divination method. Irvine Arditti, for whom the work was written, will play the solo violin part, accompanied by Ensemble Signal conducted by Brad Lubman.

The composition is in seven short movements, titled after seven selected cards from the twenty-two major arcana of the Tarot deck. They are: The Juggler, The Fool, The High Priestess, The Hermit, The Empress (Whorld), The Hierophant and Moonlight. In each movement, soloist and ensemble explore a scene suggested by the interpretation of the cards made by Russian polymath P.D. Ouspensky in his 1919 publication A new model of the Universe.

Due to the technical and logistical requirements of the pieces, the concert will take place in two different venues at UB’s Department of Music. The first part will be in Baird 250, the recital hall at Baird Hall, while the second part will be in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall. The concert will begin at 7:30PM.

As part of their visit, the Arditti Quartet will also conduct a workshop with UB graduate composers, lending their expertise and virtuosity to works written for them by Kenneth Tam, Tomek Arnold, Matías Homar, Igor Coelho A.S. Marques and Edgard Girtain.

Purchase tickets here:

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