Monday Evening Concerts 2015/16 Season

Source: Los Angeles’ Monday Evening Concerts.

Monday Evening Concerts presents its 77th season of celebrating composers and performers whose only common bond is their commitment to being true to themselves and their visions. Our programs invite compositions from five centuries to converse with one another; more recent works entice us to hear chronologically older ones with new ears. We present recitals featuring eminent soloists Alexei Lubimov and Séverine Ballon. New York’s internationally acclaimed Talea Ensemble joins us for its Los Angeles debut. We will listen to Salvatore Sciarrino’s re-imaginings of exquisite works of Carlo Gesualdo side-by-side with pistol shots and broken glass. We will hear meditations on the inscriptions on Egyptian sarcophagi in the work of Gérard Grisey. We will experience surreal visions of the Coney Island freak show through the lens of Karl Kraus’ Vienna in the West Coast premiere of Steven Takasugi’s Sideshow.

Arnold SCHOENBERG: Pierrot Lunaire (1912)
Steven Kazuo TAKASUGI: Sideshow (2015) West Coast Premiere

“O Alter Duft aus Märchenzeit!” Our season opens with the Los Angeles debut of New York City’s Talea Ensemble. A group boasting privileged relationships with many of the world’s greatest living composers including Pierre Boulez, Georges Aperghis, Chaya Czernowin, Olga Neuwirth and Pierluigi Billone, as well as a formidable presence in the new music scenes both in the United States and abroad, Talea will present two epoch-defining works composed a century apart from one another: Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (1912) and Steven Kazuo Takasugi’s Sideshow (2015). These musical fables, each predicated on figures existing in the margins of society (a forlorn clown in the case of Schoenberg and the freaks of Coney Island in the case of Takasugi), remind us that we must try to sing, no matter how unconventional our voices may be. ​

Salvatore SCIARRINO: Un fruscio lungo trent’anni (1967-1999)
Salvatore SCIARRINO: Le voci sottovetro – Elaborazioni da Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa (1999)
Gérard GRISEY: Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (1999)

In the 6th Century B.C.E., the philosopher Heraclitus wrote that “after death comes nothing hoped for nor imagined.” The contemplation of what happens after life ends dates back to time immemorial. In our second program of our season, we pair the eschatological visions of two unlikely kindred spirits, Salvatore Sciarrino and Gérard Grisey. Sciarrino’s Un fruscio lungo trent’anni (A Long, Rustling Thirty Years), written over the span of three decades, represents the composer’s quest to develop his idiosyncratic and iconic style. In Le Voci Sottovetro (The Voices Under Glass), Sciarrino creates ‘elaborations’ of works by the Renaissance’s most notorious composer, Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venice. Finally, we will present the LA premiere of Grisey’s magnum opus, Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (Four Songs for Crossing the Threshold), meditations on texts from ancient and modern poets, Egyptian sarcophagi and the Epic of Gilgamesh, written in the year preceding the composer’s own untimely death. ​

​Morton FELDMAN: Piano and String Quartet (1985), duration: ca. 80′

Given its premiere by Aki Takahashi and the Kronos quartet on Monday Evening Concerts in 1985, Morton Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet has endured as one of the most sublime works of the past 40 years. Channeling the static vibrancy and religiosity of the paintings of Mark Rothko, as well as the virtuosic feats of memory involved in the labyrinthine designs of Turkish rug weavers, Feldman’s expansive 80-minute work provides the listener with the time and space to enter another realm. Performed here by Los Angeles’ own Formalist Quartet and pianist Richard Valitutto in a private location to be announced, this special concert will help Monday Evening Concerts continue its mission of presenting listeners with innovative, challenging, rewarding, and hopefully life-altering concerts for years to come.

Rebecca SAUNDERS: Solitude (2013)
Liza LIM: Invisibility (2009)
Mauro LANZA: La bataille de Caresme et de Charnage (2012)
for cello and electronics
Chaya CZERNOWIN: Adentium capillus veneris no. I / SONGS OF THE MUTED ONE (Arr. Severine Ballon, 2015) World Premiere
Brian FERNEYHOUGH: Time and Motion Study (1977)
for cello and electronics

In the tradition of the great avant-garde string players Irvine Arditti, Rohan de Saram and Stefano Scodanibbio, the brilliant young French cellist Séverine Ballon has established herself as one of her generation’s premiere soloists. A regular collaborator with the world’s leading ensembles, interpreters and composers, Ballon is a spellbinding musician with a poet’s touch, able to breathe life into seemingly impenetrable scores. We are thrilled to welcome her for her Los Angeles solo debut. ​