Author Archives: nball

Earl Kim: Now and Then


…spare, inspired text setting. Even without its horrific backstory, Kim’s trenchant work takes on significant power from texts from Chekhov (“The Seagull”), Beckett, and Yeats (“The Tower”).

Celebrating the 20th-Century Music “Traitor”

Throughout the 2018-2019 season, many ensembles and performers will be celebrating the centenary of GEORGE ROCHBERG: a composer who first embraced 12-tone music and serialism, then later rejected avant-garde styles as a form of “self-extinction.” The Tanglewood Music Center, which found storied “success” in championing Rochberg’s music, kicked off the season’s celebrations with performances of his Quintet for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Violoncellos and Octet (A Grand Fantasia) in August.
The University of Pennsylvania, where Rochberg taught on the music faculty until 1983, offered the first of its three all-Rochberg programs on September 26th with performances from the Daedalus String Quartet and the New Fromm Ensemble. The two upcoming performances (October 28th and November 28th) will feature renowned musical artists, Mimi Stillman, flute, Elliot Fisk, guitar, and Mark Livshits, piano.

Chen Yi: Totem Poles

The music reflected the mystery and sometimes the brutality of the life [that American Indian] totem poles represent. It moved from full organ to a middle section of celeste chords with a haunting melody; the final section, which was very dissonant, returned to the full organ of the opening, with interjections of the celeste and the haunting melody again, ending with a lovely softness.

–The American Organist