A Scoop of Schubert

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It's no secret the the Brothers Balliett love the music of Franz Schubert, whether it's tearing through the Trout Quintet or sobbing through Die Schoene Muellerin. Last year we took at look at Schubert's impact on today's music, and the result was engaging enough that this week we return to the topic, in what will be our annual edition of A Scoop of Schubert.

Downtown composer Nick Didkovsky took an Impromptu in Eb, fed it into a computer, did a statistical analysis with Java, and had the computer/composer vomit out a new version. This new piece is described: "Wrong notes at the beginning disintegrated into a Nancarrovian mess, through which ghosts of the original melodies could always be heard." A fitting opening to today's Schubert exploration.

French composer Bruno Mantovani takes a more abstract approach, with eight new "moments musicaux" – Musical Moments, a form championed by Schubert. The discourse is Schubertian, the material drawn from Lieder, and Mantovani even uses a set of notes to represent Schubert's name (F-A-Eflat-C-B = FA-SCH). We'll hear this consummately Schubertian piece performed by its dedicatees, the Trio Wanderer.

Finally, get ready for a bone-chilling, jaw-dropping reinterpretation of Schubert's Winterreise, composed by Hans Zender and performed by Ensemble Modern. So much more than an orchestration, Zender leaves the melodies and harmonies intact but manages to work in a world of interpretation into this new version of a famous classic. We'll hear the first six songs (but will surely return to the other eighteen!).Love Schubert? Into new music? Tune in Thursday at 3 and Sunday at 8 for the Brothers Balliett annual Schubert exploration.