This program explores the ways we communicate through our instruments and music. All four composers’ works appear on the surface to be simple in harmony and texture. However, when we look deeper into these works, we find that each composer has arrived from a completely different path. Arvo Pärt says that “music must exist of itself…two, three notes…the essence must be there, independent of the instruments.” Pärt seeks the meaning of music from inside out, resulting in the simple and pure sonorities of Fratres.
Meanwhile, John Luther Adams’ The Wind in High Places portrays the icy stillness from the landscape and the weather of the Great North, Alaska where he has spent many years. His “outside in” approach signifies the personal style of his music.
Samy Moussa’s String Quartet explores the inherent complexity sound contained in a single note. Suddenly a G is not a G, but a collection of frequencies and overtones that combine to create a rich and vivid sonic ecosystem. In this music the simplicity on the surface belies the complexity within.
The music of Philip Glass is instantly recognizable for its use of repetitive patterns that oscillate between triadic harmonies. However, in his Fifth String Quartet, he ventures beyond his traditional minimalist roots, using formal structures and expressive contrasts. While he maintains his unmistakable personal style, this quartet delivers his personal maturity in understanding music. He says, “I was thinking that I had really gone beyond the need to write a serious string quartet and that I could write a quartet that is about musicality, which in a certain way is the most serious subject.” In this quartet, he demonstrates the musical inspiration derived from within itself.
Works on the “Inside-Out/side-In” program include:
Adams (John Luther), The Wind in High Places
Moussa, String Quartet
Glass, String Quartet No. 5