Iholba’ – Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate
Chamber Symphony – John AdamsAmerican composer John Adams’s (b. 1947) Chamber Symphony was inspired by two wildly varying sources: Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major, Op. 9 and the music of Looney Tunes cartoons. Adams stumbled upon this odd juxtaposition quite by accident. He wrote in a program note for the 1992 work: “I was sitting in my studio, studying the score to Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony, and as I was doing so I became aware that my seven year old son Sam was in the adjacent room watching cartoons (good cartoons, old ones from the ’50’s). The hyperactive, insistently aggressive and acrobatic scores for the cartoons mixed in my head with the Schoenberg music, itself hyperactive, acrobatic and not a little aggressive, and I realized suddenly how much these two traditions had in common.” The resulting work is fun, interesting, frenetic, and, to again quote Adams, “shockingly difficult to play.” The piece is divided into three movements: Mongrel Airs (so named as a reference to a music critic who questioned the “breeding” of Adams’s music), Aria with Walking Bass, and Roadrunner. The 22-minute piece is scored for 15 instruments.
Six Piano Études – Unsuk Chin
Symphonie fantastique (excerpts) – Hector BerliozAs I’ve been putting together my list of spooky, Halloween-appropriate pieces for the October playlists, I’ve done my level best to avoid the most obvious selections and instead focus on some little-known creepy gems (Aaron Copland’s Grohg, for example). But one can only avoid the elephant – or should I say elephants – in the room for so long. There are any number of fairly obvious Halloween-appropriate musical works, from the Danse macabre of Camille Saint-Saëns to J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (which in its original context has naught to do with spookiness, but culturally has to come to function as a recognized musical symbol of all things scary). And of course, there’s always Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.
Sources: http://www.jerodtate.com/biography.html https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/native-composer-jerod-impichchaachaaha-tate/ www.earbox.com/chamber-symphony/ https://nyphil.org/about-us/artists/unsuk-chin Soo Kyung Kim, “A Study of Unsuk Chin’s Piano Études.” Arnold Whittall, “Chin, Unsuk,” in Grove Music Online.