The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Friday, September 25, 2020


Composers draw out peace from Beethoven in new works
Israeli-American pianist Yael Weiss (R) and Filipino composer Sidney Marquez Boquiren (L) talk during an AFP interview at The Mansion at Strathmore on January 23, 2019, in North Bethesda, Maryland. Boquiren is among 32 composers from countries facing conflict Weiss has commissioned to create solo piano works responding to material from each of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas as part of her "32 Bright Clouds" project. OLIVIA HAMPTON / AFP.

by Olivia Hampton



NORTH BETHESDA (AFP).- When Israeli-American pianist Yael Weiss asked Sidney Marquez Boquiren to write a piece inspired by a Beethoven piano sonata, the composer highlighted the "unheard" victims of extrajudicial killings in his native Philippines.

The work, part of an ambitious project commissioning 32 composers from countries plagued by conflict to create pieces responding to each of Beethoven's 32 sonatas, premiered on Thursday at the Mansion at Strathmore outside Washington.

"The title 'Unheard Voices' refers to how the voices of the innocent are not heard, even the voices of those who are expressing anger, expressing desire for change or just going against what's happening... and are fearful for their own lives," Boquiren told AFP.

For many in the Philippines, those voices are the victims of President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal war on drugs, in which police say they have killed nearly 5,000 alleged users and pushers -- although rights groups say the toll is at least triple that.

"What scares me is that Filipinos are willing to forgive, or accept, the fact that there will be collateral damage," Boquiren added.

During the performance, Weiss listens to a recording of the tragic second movement of the seventh sonata on headphones -- unheard by the audience, which only hears her play Boquiren's composition that carves away or echoes notes from the 1798 piece.

Like the other solo piano works in the "32 Bright Clouds" project, there is also a nod to a passage in the final movement of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, a mass composed at the height of his career.

The piece closes with "sforzando" attacks on clusters of notes at a point when the Beethoven sonata would be at its quietest. That's an epic challenge for the performer.

'Unique, fresh, delicious'
Weiss, 46, also premiered works by composers from Ghana, Iran, Jordan and Syria, and played another previously performed from Indonesia.

Malek Jandali's work is dedicated to the "noble quest for peace" of Syrian children, up to 30,000 of whom have died in the war in Syria according to opposition groups, with government forces identified by far as the biggest killer.

Juxtaposing the Missa Solemnis motif with a rhythm from the first movement of "The Hunt" sonata, Jandali then integrates Arab maqamat, or melodic modes, with Western harmonies in what he calls his "unique, fresh, delicious vocabulary."

"When I meet Syrian children in refugee camps, you can see in their eyes beauty and truth and hope and peace, but at the same time you can also see anger and sadness and injustice and pain," Jandali said by telephone.

"So it's a mix of emotions and that's what the piece tries to capture."

George Mensah Essilfie of Ghana composed around Beethoven's Sonata Number 16 in G major, and donated his commissioning fee to a psychiatric hospital in Accra to help end mistreatment of those with mental disorders.

He quoted some of the first movement's chords, played in stutter-like fashion that gives the sense that the pianist's hands are unable to play together.

Weiss hopes to eventually host a marathon, daylong performance of the new works paired with Beethoven's, much like a collaborative concert featuring all 32 sonatas in which she once participated as a student of Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute conservatory.

"There are stories that need to be heard, and I felt that they need to be heard from a point of view of oneness, of connectivity," said Weiss, who calls for "celebrating differences."

On June 11, she has a concert planned in Havana.

Her project has even taken her to remote Bhutan, where oral tradition predominates. There, Kheng Sonam Dorji transposed material for the dramyin, a Himalayan lute, to the piano.

Venezuela's Adina Izarra, whose "Arietta for 150 Kids" Weiss will premiere in Ann Arbor, Michigan on March 15, dedicated her work to the youths killed by President Nicolas Maduro's security forces in 2017.

It's a conversation with Beethoven's extraordinarily forward-looking, final sonata.

Call for peace
The complete cycle of new compositions is set to be completed in 2020, as part of celebrations around the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth.

A cornerstone of the piano repertoire, the Beethoven sonatas themselves demonstrate the gradual transformation that saw the German composer blow apart musical conventions, resolutely push music into the Romantic period and even foresee ragtime.

Above the mass motif Weiss chose, Beethoven wrote "A call for inward and outward peace" in the score.

It's a call that resonates in more ways than one.

Just hours before Weiss premiered the new compositions, Indonesian authorities released Jakarta's former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, to whose "bravery" a sixth piece by Ananda Sukarlan was dedicated.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

January 28, 2019

Rare Hassam, Jefferson letter and Sèvres porcelain offered at Potomack Auction

Denver Art Museum acquisitions in 2018 include a collection of British art, paintings and photographs

Exhibition at pavlov's dog shows masterpieces of photography taken in the 20th century

Exhibition provides the largest collection of Tolkien material ever assembled in the United States

Exhibition at Aargauer Kunsthaus takes a look at "Art Brut"

The Menil Collection opens 'Contemporary Focus: Trenton Doyle Hancock'

Exhibition at Kunsthal KAdE introduces the work of Caspar Adriaensz van Wittel to the Netherlands

Andy Goldsworthy to create Walking Wall on Nelson-Atkins campus

Exhibition of new works by the Chilean artist Felipe Mujica opens at von Bartha, Basel

Composers draw out peace from Beethoven in new works

In wartime Yemen, children find solace in music

The Newberry Library completes renovations to enhance its public spaces

Apichatpong Weerasethakul wins Artes Mundi 8 prize

Miller Prize winners and university fellows present design concepts for 2019 Exhibit Columbus exhibition

Cornell Fine Arts Museum opens De La Torre Brothers' first solo museum exhibition in Florida

Awoiska van der Molen's first solo show at Annet Gelink Gallery on view in Amsterdam

Zabludowicz Collection announces 11th annual Testing Ground for Art and Education season

New work by PolakVanBekkum screened in the Oude Kerk

Photography and film exhibition examines issues of race and youth identity

Kunsthaus Centre d'art Pasquart opens a comprehensive solo exhibition of works by Florian Graf

Miller & Miller announces highlights from the Canadiana and Historic Objects sale

Exhibition at Tufts University Art Galleries features works by Suara Welitoff

Part one of the historic Spenger Maritime Collection soars to over $100,000 at Clars

13 Teaching Tips Your Kids Healthy Habits




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful