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Caramoor’s “Summer 20/2.0” festival features two livestreamed performances of new Clyne works, performed by the Calidore String Quartet and The Knights.

This summer, Caramoor presents two livestreamed premieres by Anna Clyne as part of its “Summer 20/2.0” festival: On July 16, the Calidore String Quartet performs the New York premiere of Breathing Statues, and on July 23, members of The Knights give the world premiere of Shorthand for solo cello and string quintet. Both works are inspired by Beethoven’s music, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth this year.

Breathing Statues (July 16, NY Premiere) is inspired by Beethoven’s three final string quartets – Op. 130, 135, and Op. 133 – and was premiered by the Calidore String Quartet at Princeton University. Clyne was moved by a specific moment in the Op. 133 Grosse Fuge, where the music drives forward relentlessly to an E-flat major chord, followed by a long silence, then pivots to a C-major chord. She explains, “I was struck by its intensity. It made me feel like the music is really breathing.”

Clyne found several other moments of breathing, sighing, and stuttering in the last three quartets, then wove in references throughout Breathing Statues. At times, Clyne has the four players pause together as a unit for the duration of a deep breath – which reminded Clyne of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “On Music,” whose line “the breathing of statues” inspired the work’s title. The livestreamed performance on July 16 will be performed alongside Beethoven’s Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 and Grosse Fuge in B-flat Major, Op. 133.

Shorthand (July 23, World Premiere) will be premiered by members of The Knights: cellist Karen Ouzounian alongside a string quintet. The work takes its title from a line in Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata (which itself was inspired by Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata for violin and piano): “Music is the shorthand of emotion. Emotions, which let themselves be described in words with such difficulty, are directly conveyed to man in music, and in that is its power and significance.” Shorthand references two themes from Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata: the opening theme, as well as a second theme that Janácek also incorporated in his own String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata.”

Clyne’s work will also be on display in Caramoor’s annual sound art installation, Sonic Innovations. in“C,” a newly commissioned site-specific sound sculpture from MacArthur Fellow Trimpin, is a 16-foot-high, double C-shaped frame supporting two octaves of chimes. In addition to music composed by Trimpin, this interactive installation will play a specially commissioned short work by Clyne for the range and acoustics of the chimes. (Other composers providing music for the installation include Chris Cerrone, Missy Mazzoli, and Nico Muhly.) The exhibition, curated by Chicago-based sound artist Stephan Moore, is tentatively scheduled to begin on July 16.


The world premiere recording of Anna Clyne’s cello concerto DANCE, recorded by cellist Inbal Segev with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop, was recently released on the Avie Records label. DANCE is inspired by a poem by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, imploring the reader to dance in the times of pain, anguish, struggle and freedom.


Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 7pm (ET)
Calidore String Quartet
Livestream: https://www.caramoor.org/events/calidore-string-quartet-livestream/

BACH Selections from The Art of the Fugue, BWV. 1080
ANNA CLYNE Breathing Statues (NY Premiere)
BEETHOVEN Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130; Grosse Fuge in B-flat Major, Op. 133

Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 7pm (ET)
Musicians from The Knights
Livestream: https://www.caramoor.org/events/musicians-from-the-knights-livestream/

ANNA CLYNE Shorthand (World Premiere) ft. Karen Ouzounian, cello
BRAHMS String Sextet No. 2 in G, Op. 36

>  Further information on Work: Shorthand

Photo: Christina Kernohan

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