Xanthos Ensemble Season Concert
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 06:48PM
Xanthos Ensemble

Goethe-Institut Boston

170 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02116
March 9th, 2012
8:00 p.m.

$15 ($10 students and seniors)

Please join us with soprano

Aliana de la Guardia


Tiffany Chang

and guest artists

Ashima Scripp, cello
Alexander Vavilov, viola

Featuring three Boston premieres and a World premiere


la tristesse durera toujours (2003)

Geoffrey Gordon

Light Screens (2002)

Andrew Norman

caduceus (2007)

Curtis Hughes

Nitwit, Oddmont, Blubber, Tweak (2011)

Jordan Kuspa


In la tristesse durera toujours, for soprano, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano, the texts are drawn fom the letters written by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo in the last years of his life, from 1888-1890. The music, violent to lyrical, is guided by both the words and the images of Van Gogh's work. Above all is the human voice, which seems to sing out from all of Van Gogh's works, and which here animates the artist's words against the music inspired by his art.

Andrew Norman's Light Screens, for string trio and flute, was inspired by the geometric patterns in Frank Lloyd Wright's stained glass windows, which he termed Light Screens. These abstract designs feature simple shapes like the square and the rhombus in repetitious designs, and there is often a lively dynamic of asymmetry in these windows between areas of intense activity and expanses of largely empty space.

Caduceus was originally composed for DuoKaya in 2007, and is loosely inspired by the image of the mythical winged staff carried by Hermes, with its two entwined serpents. In this music the relationship between the violin and the cello is sometimes complementary, sometimes antagonistic, and includes frequent role reversals. Often lyrical and pensive, but occasionally violent with restless momentum, the instrumental interaction is in a state of perpetual evolution.

In Jordan Kuspa's Nitwit, Oddment, Blubber, Tweak, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, the four words of the title comprise the entirety of a speech made by a rather important character in a particularly popular book. The composer loved the idea of juxtaposing four seemingly unrelated ideas and constructing a kind of dubious unity out of them, so he responded by composing four miniatures that run without interruption.





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