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THE ACCLAIMED DA CAPO CHAMBER PLAYERS PERFORM AT BARD ON NOVEMBER 2 “Da Capo Celebrates Bard!” with compositions by Bard faculty members

Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Center presents an evening with the acclaimed Da Capo Chamber Players on Wednesday, November 2. The free performance, “Da Capo Celebrates Bard!” begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. The program chosen by Da Capo includes works by Bard faculty members Thurman Barker, Keith Fitch, Kyle Gann, and Joan Tower; Bard senior Marcus Parris; and a world premiere by Jonathan Talbott. Guest artists include Thurman Barker and Garry Kvistad, percussion; Kyle Gann, synthesizer; and Bernard Gann, electric bass. “Music at Bard is intensely creative,” says Patricia Spencer, visiting associate professor of music at the College and flutist with Da Capo. “It evokes a spirit of much earlier times, when all performers were composers and vice versa. We are delighted to present an evening of composers and performers that are affiliated with Bard.” Percussionist and composer Thurman Barker will by joined by Kvistad and Da Capo for Barker’s piece “Manhattan Junction.” Keith Fitch composed “Dancing the Shadows” for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion. Fitch says that the piece “might be subtitled ‘Music for an Imaginary Ballet,’ as after writing several large-scale, intensely dark and virtuosic scores, I thought it would be a nice change to try something in a lighter vein—and many of the gestures found here may strike the listener as particularly Stravinskian, though no direct comparison is intended.” Kyle Gann’s work “As the Day Is Long (Revisited),” 2005, is based on his work of 1982, a partly improvisatory piece for synthesizer, flute, drums, and tape. “I took the theme of the work, derived a scale from it, and transposed it to various pitch levels in a framework of just intonation—tuning according to pure ratios,” explains Gann. “Pat Spencer and Meighan Stoops had asked me for a piece that would require them to play microtones, and it is dedicated to them.” Joan Tower says, “‘Wings,’ for solo clarinet, was written for my friend and colleague Laura Flax, who premiered the piece at her recital in Merkin Hall (New York City) on December 14, 1981. The image behind the piece is one of a large bird—perhaps a falcon—at times flying very high, gliding along the thermal currents, barely moving. At other moments, the bird goes into elaborate flight patterns that loop around, driving downwards, gaining tremendous speeds.” Marcus Parris’s piano solo ‘Sunday’ was inspired by Schopenhauer’s philosophy that concerns Buddhist views on desire. “Most of the materials in ‘Sunday’ are an indirect reaction to Schopenhauer’s idea and are based on a strong belief that drugs, the main desire inherent in the message of some figures in pop culture, have destroyed a significant part of our world and lives,” states Parris. Jonathan Talbott, founder of Music Coalition of Columbia County, focused in the past on jazz and world music performance. His new work, ‘Hearts for Jaguar,’ composed for clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, is inspired by Talbott’s other occupation: tracking animals in an educational capacity. Da Capo is widely acclaimed for its virtuosity, stimulating programs, and openness to a wide spectrum of styles in new music. Its dedication to working with composers is matched by a commitment to rehearsing each piece as a living, moving, breathing entity, rather than as a fixed blueprint. Winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1973, Da Capo has been a leader in building a strong heritage of present-day American chamber music and can point with pride to more than 90 chamber music works written especially for the ensemble by Joan Tower, Philip Glass, Harvey Sollberger, and Philippe Bodin, among many others. In April 2003, Da Capo performed at the Moscow Forum International Festival of Contemporary Music. Forthcoming recordings include chamber works by Alla Borzova and Judith Shatin. The Da Capo Chamber Players are flutist Patricia Spencer, clarinetist Meighan Stoops, violinist David Bowlin, cellist André Emelianoff, and pianist Blair McMillen. This concert is made possible, in part, through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Endowment at Bard College. For further information about the program, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425. Please note that no reservations are necessary; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. # # # (10/4/05)

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This event was last updated on 11-03-2005