“Le devenir des sons”: An Evening of French Spectral Music

  • February 11, 2019 • 7:30 PM
Curated by Joseph Jakubowski.

“Le Devenir des sons”: An Evening of French Spectral Music, presents music of the last forty years belonging to an important movement in European concert music. Featuring guest soloist Wendy Richman, viola, the concert traces four distinct interpretations of the spectral style. Gérard Grisey’s Prologue pour alto seul (1976) explores the intersection of melody, repetition, and process in a work for solo viola. Tristan Murail’s Winter Fragments (2000) presents a colorful constellation of harmonies and timbres while quoting Prologue in memory of the recently deceased Grisey. Jonathan Harvey’s Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980) recreates and transforms the sound of a tenor bell from Winchester Cathedral in a three-dimensional electronic realization. Grisey’s Vortex Temporum I (1994) takes musical time itself as its theme, winding through driving and constantly shifting rhythms. The concert will include commentary by Joseph R. Jakubowski, PhD candidate in Music Theory, whose dissertation research examines time, form, and experience in spectral music.

Vortex Temporum I (1994) – Gérard Grisey (1946–98)
Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980) – Jonathan Harvey (1939–2012)
Prologue pour alto seul (1976) – Gérard Grisey (1946–98)
Winter Fragments (2000) – Tristan Murail (1947– )

Solo viola, Wendy Richman

Jennifer Nitchman, flute
Scott Andrews, clarinet
Angie Smart, violin
Chris Tantillo, viola
Davin Rubicz, cello
Nina Ferrigno, piano

Commentary by Joseph Jakubowski, PhD candidate

Biography for Wendy Richman, solo viola:
Violist Wendy Richman is a founding member of the New York-based International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). With ICE and as soloist and chamber musician, she has performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Miller Theater, Mostly Mozart Festival, Park Avenue Armory, Phillips Collection, and international festivals in Berlin, Darmstadt, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Karlsruhe, Morelia, and Vienna.

Hailed by The New York Times and The Washington Post for her “absorbing,” “fresh and idiomatic” performances with “a brawny vitality,” Wendy collaborates closely with a wide range of composers and presented the U.S. premieres of Kaija Saariaho’s Vent nocturne, Roberto Sierra’s Viola Concerto, and a fully-staged version of Luciano Berio’s Naturale. Upon hearing her interpretation of Berio’s Sequenza VIThe Baltimore Sun commented that she made “something at once dramatic and poetic out of the aggressive tremolo-like motif of the piece.”

Though best known for her interpretations of contemporary music, Wendy enjoys performing a diverse range of repertoire. She regularly performs with NYC’s Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with fortepianist Malcolm Bilson, the Claremont and Prometheus Trios, and members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, and Takács Quartets. She has also been a frequent guest with the viola sections of the Atlanta Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and St. Louis Symphony.

Wendy is currently on the string faculty of New York University (NYU Steinhardt), where she teaches viola, chamber music, and a class on extended string techniques. She has also held teaching positions at the University of Tennessee, University of Alabama, and Cornell University, as well as NYU Summer Strings, Walden School Summer Young Musicians Program, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and Music in the Mountains Conservatory.

Wendy graduated from Oberlin Conservatory (BM), New England Conservatory (MM), and Eastman School of Music (DMA). She studied viola with Carol Rodland, Kim Kashkashian, Peter Slowik, Jeffrey Irvine, and Sara Harmelink, and voice with Marlene Ralis Rosen, Judith Kellock, and Mary Galbraith. Through her vox/viola project, loosely inspired by Giacinto Scelsi’s Manto III, she has commissioned numerous composers to write pieces in which she sings and plays simultaneously. Wendy’s debut album, vox/viola, is slated for 2019 release on ICE’s TUNDRA imprint on New Focus Recordings.