Monday, August 29, 2011
As part of Q2's Requiem Project, we're collecting stories from the New York Public Radio archives to augment the music stream — voices that expand upon the themes in the music, and vice versa. We recently wondered: what if we blended the two? We've put together a little audio experiment and we'd like you to evaluate the results.
Friday, August 26, 2011
The requiem that stands out for me is the performance I heard of Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The performance was by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Kurt Masur at Avery Fisher Hall. A collective feeling of wounded angst could be felt as audience-goers entered the auditorium.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
It is twelve years since I finished composing Chrysalid Requiem — a setting of the Latin funeral service, plus the "Libera me" and "In paradisum" from the burial service. Rather than the commemoration of someone’s death, I found other reasons for the project. The Latin words sing beautifully, cry for a wildly imaginative setting and resonate with layers of metaphor that suggest a complex musical fabric.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
In the early 1960s, I was in summer residence at an “arts camp” called Indian Hill. I was already quite a serious pianist by then, and during those sparkling, sun-dappled days in Stockbridge Massachusetts, I stayed indoors. Day after beautiful day, I pulled down the shades in the piano practice room -- and practiced.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Ten years ago on September 11, I was on the air here at WQXR from 7 p.m. until midnight. I had been called in at the last minute to cover for my colleague, June LeBell, who had been evacuated from Battery Park City to New Jersey earlier in the day. As I walked to the station that night, I remember how absolutely lost I felt. "What should I say? What should I do? How can we help?" It seemed so illogical to be playing music while television and radio stations all over the city were trying desperately to explain what had happened and to advise us about what to do next.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I last saw my friend and sound engineer Bill Cadman in Paris at the beginning of December 1988 when we had a drink together. On December 21st, Bill and his new girlfriend Sophie were killed in the Lockerbie air crash. I was very badly affected by his death and for some time I found it hard to sleep and had constant nightmares. I wrote an obituary for The Independent newspaper shortly after his death, which helped me quite a lot.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
As part of Q2's Requiem Project, we've been searching the NYPR archives for voices that offer perspective on 9/11 and help us better understand the world in which we now live. The stories that immediately stood out to me were of the volunteers who for months helped feed, clothe and comfort the people working at the site. "We have to understand that their existence in millions for each evil act is what keeps us going," the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould told WNYC's Marianne McCune.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Musicians write requiems for all sorts of reasons. The Connecticut composer Ingram Marshall wrote his seminal tape piece Gradual Requiem in tribute to his father, who had recently died. He explains its significance.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Over the next few weeks, as we listen to your requiem suggestions and start to sketch out the 9/11 anniversary weekend programming, a ton of new music will be crossing our desks. But some of our recent discoveries are simply too moving to wait an additional moment before sharing: including work by a Polish film composer, a Ukrainian romantic, and a requiem based on Latvian folk songs.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Although it stems from a specific religious tradition, the requiem has become a versatile, generous form through which many composers have addressed the fundamental human concerns surrounding mortality. Requiems mourn the dead, and they’re appropriately reverent and solemn. But they also can be dramatic and uplifting. Ten years after the events of September 11, 2001, the requiem continues to be a valuable form for exploring the lasting shock, anger and sorrow of loss — and for celebrating what remains.
Friday, August 12, 2011
John Adams was one of the first major composers to take on the challenge of writing a work to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001. His Pulitzer Prize-winning work On the Transmigration of Souls is something of a sound collage, performed by orchestra and choirs along with pre-recorded ambient sound: we hear a voice reading names of people who were lost in the towers, the choirs singing reminiscences of their family members.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
For more than 500 years, Western classical music has used the requiem mass to bury the departed and console the living. Nearly 2,000 requiems have been written, to date — and that isn't even counting all the secular works meant to address the realities of death and mortality.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Sometimes the enormity of a moment is captured by something small — the details of the everyday take on new meaning. What do you remember from September 11, 2001 and its immediate aftermath? What memory or observation stands out, and why?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
At Q2 we’re devoted to championing the music of living composers and presenting it in the best possible way. But now we need your help and honest opinions. We want you to let us know what you like about Q2 and what we could do better.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Nico Muhly's Two Boys, which got its world premiere at English National Opera on Friday, was envisioned as part crime procedural, part online morality tale. Despite a choppy first act, Muhly's gripping music redeems this lurid tale.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Joining us from the BBC studios in London in advance of the world premiere of Two Boys, Nico Muhly also takes time to conduct us through a tour of the kaleidoscopic influences behind his already prodigious catalog.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Greetings from sunny (I’m not kidding, the sun never sets) Iceland! I’m spending my days at Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Greenhouse Studios, where, to my surprise, June Hammered! guest host Bruce Brubaker is recording Drones and Piano, Nico Muhly’s work for the same. I had NO idea Bruce was gonna be here. Q2 party up in Iceland! Come Wednesday, I’ll begin to record Daníel Bjarnason’s viola concerto-like-thing Sleep Variations, for solo viola, harp, percussion, and ten additional violas, all of which I will record, Mwah-ha-ha-ha.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Composer Nico Muhly's new album Seeing is Believing drops June 21, 2011, but until then you can hear it streaming 24/7 on-demand here as part of Q2's partnership with NPR Music's First Listen. Hear the entire album which features world premiere recordings from Thomas Gould and the London-based Aurora Orchestra as well as Muhly's ecstatic arrangements of choral works by William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Though New Yorkers will unfortunately have to wait until the Met Opera's 2013-2014 season to see a local production of Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher's staging of Nico Muhly's first opera, Two Boys (premiering in late June at the English National Opera), it seems like we're now more than ever bombarded with the dark and lurid issues that this complex, cautionary tale raises.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Q2 is listener-supported. Passionate about this great service and want to take a stand in support of new music? Become a Q2 listener-supporter and make a contribution to New York Public Radio today. And tell us why you listen to Q2. What is it about Q2 that gets your attention? What's valuable to you about Q2? Here are some highlights of our inaugural year.