Listen: Premiere of David Lang's 'Broken,' Music for Viola and Viols

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

David Lang. David Lang. (Peter Serling)

On Feb 1, violist Nadia Sirota opened a week-long residency at Symphony Space with a program pairing music by Renaissance masters with works by contemporary composers, including a world premiere by David Lang, commissioned by Symphony Space.

With this performance, Sirota explores the timbres created by pairing the viola and bass viols, instruments that the musician says in the program notes come together in a "weird, beautiful" way, through the music of 17th-century composer William Byrd, 16th-century composer Picforth, and contemporary composer Nico Muhly.

Sirota has premiered and commissioned works by some of the most prominent composers today, and her 2009 debut solo record, “Beautiful Mechanical” was a New York Times album of the year. Sirota is a founding member of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, yMusic, and the Wordless Music Orchestra. She teaches in the Contemporary Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music and is the host of Q2 Music's Meet the Composer podcast.

Listen to the complete show – including interviews with David Lang – at the top of this page, and individual pieces below.


Nico Muhly - Slow

Picforth - In Nomine

Alexander Agricola - Duo

David Lang - broken (world premiere)

Edmund Finnis - Lines Curved Rivers Mirrored

William Byrd - In nomine

William Byrd - Two Fantasias

Orlando Gibbons - In nomine

Nadia Sirota, viola; Liam Byrne, viol; Doug Balliet, viol; Gabriel Cabezas, viol and cello; Loren Ludwig, viol; Zoe Weiss, viol; Melissa Hughes, soprano; Jamie Jordan, soprano; Kirsten Solek, mezzo-soprano; Chris Thompson, percussion

Engineers: Edward Haber (technical director and music mix), George Wellingon and Noriko Okabe

Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

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