Friday, November 12, 2010

[HvEXAS] TONIGHT! Georg Friedrich Haas: In Vain | EMPAC | Fri. 11/12, 8 PM


Georg Friedrich Haas: In Vain
Argento Chamber Ensemble (Michel Galante, conductor)
Friday, November 12, 2010, 8 PM
Concert Hall

A contrast of light and dark, harmony and dissonance, In Vain startles and captivates the senses. Performed by a 24-member chamber orchestra, much of this intense 75-minute composition takes place in total darkness, and the musicians must perform from memory. The cycles between light and darkness are accompanied by dramatic microtonal deviations in the musical plane, which underscore a desire for perfect harmony, while understanding the futility of achieving a perfect harmonic co-existence, both musically and in the world.

"This is music in which you hang on every note, waiting to hear what happens next..." – Andrew Clements, The Guardian

"In the beginning, Georg said, let there be no light. And there was dark. Silky, womb-like India-ink blackness... And it was good. Mind-blowingly good." – Mark Swed, L.A. Times

"It was often hard to believe that these otherworldly sounds were coming from acoustic, not electronic, instruments." – Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times

+ Read more about the piece here (including a sound sample)
+ See + hear more here (note: this preview is for another performance that has already happened of the same piece by the same ensemble)

Georg Friedrich Haas is an internationally known composer of spectral music. Born in Graz, Austria, Haas studied composition with Gösta Neuwirth and Ivan Eröd, and piano with Doris Wolf at the Musikhochschule (Graz). He pursued graduate studies with Friedrich Cerha at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, and completed composition and computer music courses at Darmstadt and at IRCAM (Paris). 

Haas' style focuses on micropolyphony, microintervals, and exploitation of the overtone series. His award-winning works have been part of several festivals, including Wien Modern (Vienna), Musikprotokoll (Graz), Witten, Huddersfield, Royaumont, Venice Biennale, Festival d'Automne (Paris), and Darmstädter Ferienkurse. Haas teaches composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel, Switzerland, where he currently resides.

The Argento Chamber Ensemble is the performance arm of the Argento New Music Project. The group has toured widely in the US and abroad in festivals including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the International Festival of Spectral Music in Turkey, the American Festival of Microtonal Music in New York, and the International Festival of Electro-acoustic music. Known for delivering unforgettable performances that demand technical preparation and a probing interpretive commitment to the music, the ensemble has worked with leading composers such as Pierre Boulez, Tania Leon, Tristan Murail, Elliott Carter, Philippe Hurel, and Philippe Leroux in performance, tours, and recordings. 


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