Anna Clyne: double concerto Prince of Clouds crosses US
Anna Clyne's new double concerto Prince of Clouds, for two violin soloists and string orchestra, is travelling around the USA.
Anna Clyne’s Prince of Clouds was described in the Chicago Tribune as “the first concerto she’s ever composed, and it’s a winner”. This double concerto by the British-born, US-resident young composer was written for violinists Jennifer Koh and Jaime Laredo and sets the soloists against a string orchestra, building upon her experiences writing the string ensemble work Within Her Arms. Prince of Clouds was a four-way commission by the Iris Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Curtis Institute of Music and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, with performances in March in Philadelphia, Washington and New York and a recording planned by the Cedille label.
“A string orchestra enfolds the violinists in limpid textures that set off a continuous series of dialogues between the soloists. Those dialogues alternate lyrical materials with sections made up of terse, choppy, staccato figures… What struck me particularly about the 15-minute piece was the ethereal quality of Clyne’s harmonies and the way her melodies took radiant flight over those harmonies… This is music one can listen to again and again and find new things to appreciate each time. Prince of Clouds will no doubt be taken up by other star violinists.” Chicago Tribune
“…as in Clyne’s affecting Within Her Arms, her astringent edge and tension firmly avoid the sentimental and lachrymose... Prince of Clouds is wrought with Clyne’s characteristic craft and care, and offers the composer’s brand of reflective introspection that is consistently attractive.” Chicago Classical Review
Clyne’s orchestral Night Ferry, a sonic portrait of voyages both natural and psychological, received its first European performance in January. The Times reviewed the performance at the Barbican in London with the BBC Symphony conducted by Andrew Litton, noting how “this is a composer who deserves to flourish”. The latest commission under her Chicago Symphony Orchestra residency, entitled As Sudden Shut and scored for three sopranos, chamber ensemble and tape, is premiered in the orchestra’s MusicNOW series on 25 February. John Zorn's Tzadik label has released Blue Moth, the first album of Clyne's music.