American composers Philip Glass and Steve Reich changed the face of contemporary music with their revolutionary works built on simple harmony and hypnotic repetition. Where initial audiences were baffled or even hostile, their music is now recognised for its textural richness and beauty. As Glass has said ‘what seems strange or bizarre for any short period of time starts becoming familiar and whatever artistic rewards or secrets it might have become revealed.’ His three-movement Violin Sonata introduces long ecstatic melodies over his characteristic textures.
Nico Muhly’s work ranges even more widely, beginning No Uncertain Terms with a tribute to Steve Reich but veering off into passages that play with fragments of music by the great Tudor composer William Byrd. Muhly’s enduring affection for Tudor music also suffuses By All Means. This program features a world premiere work by Muhly for Omega Ensemble, with a setting of a tenderly erotic poem by Constantine Cavafy.
Details are correct at time of publication