Friday, May 31, 2019

Dal Niente: Redefining the listening experience

In anticipation of Ensemble Dal Niente's third visit to June in Buffalo in the last four years, this post will offer a brief introduction to their work. The group was founded in Chicago in 2005, and is one of several ensembles responsible for the great importance that the Windy City's New Music scene has attained in the last decade.

(Ensemble Dal Niente)

Beyond their virtuosity and musicality, their dedication and the intense concentration of their performances, there are two traits that characterize Dal Niente and distinguish the ensemble from many of their peers: one is the extremely careful curation behind their events, as demonstrated by the section of their website detailing their programs, and the other is their adventurous commissioning, that includes work from unique, individual voices like Erin Gee and UB alumnus Evan Johnson, among others.

(Spahlinger's Verlorener Weg performed by Dal Niente, 2015)

During Dal Niente's evening concert, the audience will have a chance to hear music by five of the six senior composers in this year's faculty: Anna Clyne, David Felder, Brian Ferneyhough, Stephen Hartke and Lei Liang. Felder's partial [dist]res[s]toration from 2002, will open the program. Hartke's Meanwhile, for flute, clarinet, percussion, viola and cello, will be the next piece, followed by Clyne's Steelworks, for flute, bass clarinet, percussion and tape. This work was composed in 2006, and it has common traits with other works by the English composer, among which are the use of spoken word in the tape part, and the fact that the music was part of a collaboration including film and dance. Next will be two pieces by Brian Ferneyhough: Four Miniatures for flute and piano, and Mort Subite for flute, clarinet, vibraphone and piano. The concert will end with Lei Liang's My Windows, performed by UB piano professor Eric Huebner.

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