Harrison Birtwistle's 'Gawain,' Part 3

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Late 14th Century Manuscript, British Museum (Unknown)

This week the Brothers Balliett delve back into the world of Arthurian legend with the third and final installment of Harrison Birtwistle's brilliant opera Gawain.

We last left Gawain at the house of Sir and Lady Bertilak, where he's preparing for the final showdown with the Green Knight. The Bertilaks are making things uncomfortable for Gawain, setting up weird deals with him every day, and the lady won't stop taking her clothes off. Meanwhile, Gawain can't stop thinking about the fact that he's agreed to have his head chopped off.

Will Gawain survive his final encounter with the Green Knight? Can he hold off Lady Bertilak's advances until then? And when he learns new things about himself, can he handle it?

We will also hear selections of Johann Johannsson's Fordlandia – a beautiful drone-based piece that nicely complements the Birtwistle. It's an active week with the Brothers Balliett – don't miss it!  


Hosted by:

Brad Balliett and Doug Balliett

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