Making a musical dialog between previous and current, the live performance repertoire features a combination of each previous and new composers.
12:58 am, Jan 20, 2023
Initially deliberate for 2020 in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, a two-year-delayed solo piano program by Yale Faculty of Music Deputy Dean Melvin Chen was lastly carried out at Morse Recital Corridor on Wednesday evening.
Part of the Horowitz Piano Collection, the live performance’s repertoire centered on “Diabelli variations.” that includes each new and previous compositions that derived inspiration from Beethoven’s 1819 “Theme from Vaterländischer Künstlerverein,” which itself was an interpretation of a waltz written by Austrian composer Anton Diabelli. The primary half of this system consisted of an alternation of works by Yale-affiliated composers and non-Yale-affiliated composers, whereas the second half of this system was devoted to Beethoven’s 33 Diabelli Variations. Based on Chen, this format was an intentional choice.
“Classical music, to me, is just not like some type of museum object that’s frozen in time,” Chen instructed the Information. “None of those new composers compose in a vacuum. They’re conscious of the previous music, whether or not consciously or unconsciously. Having new writing, new music and including to the repertoire retains classical music alive, in a way, as a result of they’re persevering with the custom that’s been taking place for hundreds of years.”
Professor Aaron Jay Kernis, a member of the composition school on the Yale Faculty of Music and a composer of one of many variations carried out on Wednesday, emphasised the live performance’s connection to Diabelli’s unique mission. After creating his preliminary theme, Diabelli then despatched the piece to his musical contemporaries, requesting that they create totally different interpretations and variations on the unique.
“What I like about this mission is that Professor Chen went one step additional,” Kerris stated. “The preliminary inspiration that Diabelli needed to write to his contemporaries… displays the spirit of a previous mission and develops it additional by asking loads of fairly younger composers of our time so as to add to it make it a good bigger mission that not solely displays the nineteenth century, however displays our time as nicely.”
Along with the older variations on Diabelli, the live performance repertoire included 5 latest compositions created by 4 Yale Faculty of Music graduates, Timo Andres YC ’07, MUS ’09, Krists Auznieks MUS ’16, ’22, Lori Laitman YC ’75, MUS ’76 and Liliya Ugay MUS ’16, ’22.
The brand new composers utilized totally different types and strategies to create their variations. Ugay stated that in her composition, she needed to include recognizable features that have been just like the unique Diabelli theme, meant sustaining the musical essence and character of the piece.
“It’s difficult and on the identical time fascinating to work with a theme that’s so conventional and even generic in its construction and concord: what are you able to do to focus on the character of the unique theme, how are you going to make [the variation] nonetheless recognizable in your creation?” Ugay stated. “What I saved is a humorousness and the trace of ‘waltz,’ as a result of the unique theme is a waltz, and using the pickup motif which begins the theme that, in my model, turned a seed from which the remainder of the music materials grew.”
Professor Aaron Jay Kernis deliberately sought out a singular method to composing his Diabelli variation, straying from “the very studied method of trying on the tune.” As a substitute, Kernis’ composition, ‘Give Us Two Stunning Bells,’ was impressed by translating and misconstruing fragments of the identify “Diabelli” to create totally different meanings.
“I took the identify Diabelli aside, and imagined ‘What if I misinterpret the identify and I take advantage of Google Translate to separate up the phrase?’” Kernis stated. “I discovered that ‘Dia’ means ‘to present’ and ‘Beli’ means lovely. Then I went and misspelled Dia to Due, for 2, and thought, ‘Okay, then I’ll add a bit of English for bells… As soon as I began with that concept of chords that I needed to make use of, and bell-like assaults on the instrument, then I built-in some tiny little fragments of Diabelli’s unique tune.”
Two years have handed since Chen initially reached out to composers and commissioned their items. For Kernis, this delay has added to his pleasure for the premiere but in addition created a way of distance from his piece, a sentiment that Kernis feels is shared by different composers.
“One of many uncommon issues about this pandemic, for me and plenty of of my colleagues, is that there have been loads of postponed initiatives and we needed to wait numerous years earlier than listening to the works we wrote throughout that point,” Kernis stated. “When that point passes and composers go on and write different works, it places what they’ve simply executed away within the background, not likely realizing what’s going to occur. It creates each a particular anticipation and considerably of a way of distance. We have been totally different folks in 2020.”
Whereas Chen agreed that compositions and even musicians can change considerably in a two-year interval, he said that the Diabelli variations are “nice items” because of the a number of and always altering approaches to the identical items.
“It’s an excellent piece as a result of there’s depth: you’ll be able to come again to it time and again and nonetheless have issues to discover… I can come again to the piece and apply one thing new about it,” Chen stated. “The method of training a chunk and attending to know a chunk is rarely executed.”
The rest of the 2022-2023 Horowitz Piano collection will function solo performances by YSM school pianists Wei-Yi Yang and Dean Robert Blocker and internationally famend pianist Yefim Bronfman.