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Anna Clyne: Two World Premieres in May

(April 2016)

ClyneBrooklynBridgeOddo.jpg Anna Clyne’s Abstractions and Threads & Traces premiere in Baltimore and Los Angeles, respectively.

In the last few months, Anna Clyne has seen the fruits of an extraordinarily productive 2015­–16 season. The Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble premiered Just As They Are in September, Roomful of Teeth premiered Pocket Book VII in October, the Orchestre national d'Île de France premiered This Midnight Hour in November, and the Britten Sinfonia premiered This Lunar Beauty in January. Needless to say, Clyne’s unique voice continues to build interest on both sides of the pond. But the world premieres for this season do not stop there; on 7–8 May, Clyne’s Abstractions will be given its first performances by Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Abstractions is a suite of five movements inspired by five contrasting contemporary artworks housed at the Baltimore Museum of Art. “In drawing inspiration from these artworks, I have tried to capture the feelings or imagery that they evoke, the concept of the work, or the process adopted by the artists,” says Clyne. “Such examples are the filtered blues, and the contrast between light falling on the earthy stone and the mysterious moon, that characterize VanDerBeek‘s Marble Moon; the long arching lines, compact energetic marks and dense shifting forms of a system on the verge of collapse in Mehretu’s Auguries; the serene horizon with rippled water in Sugimoto’s Seascape; the stark juxtaposition of the energetic black and white lines that enlarge Kelly’s brushstrokes in River II; and the lines, which, inspired by Asian calligraphy and the structure of seashells, appear to dance in Marden’s 3. Some common threads between the artworks are their use of limited color palettes, references to nature, and the capturing of time as a current that flows — distilling and preserving it so that we can contemplate it as the viewer. I was also attracted to the structures of these works — for example River II and Auguries, which at first sight could be seen as random, and even chaotic, are in fact created within a sense of order — they feel both dynamic and structural.”

Abstractions is approximately 20 minutes in duration and was commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

And the premieres do not stop there… It would seem that the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival has a penchant for the “mass cello ensemble”. At the first Festival in 2012, Christopher Rouse’s Rapturedux captivated audiences with its glistening, 100-cello complement. For the second Festival, taking place this May (four years later), Anna Clyne’s Threads & Traces assumes the mantle of the featured mass-cello work. Clyne’s natural, lyric writing, fused with the 100-piece cello ensemble, makes the premiere of this work on 17 May at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles one of the most eagerly awaited performances of the Festival.

Threads & Traces was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival.

For more information about the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, click here.

>  Further information on Work: Abstractions

Photo: Javier Oddo

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