April 29, 2012, 4pm
The Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse
1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Sienna Craig, anthropologist
Andrea Clearfield, composer
Alan Harler, Artistic Director
The Venerable Losang Samten
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Tse Go La
About this work
This commission project explores composer Andrea Clearfield’s research in the restricted Himalayan region of Lo Monthang in Upper Mustang, Nepal in Fall 2008 and Summer 2010 whereby she studied ritualistic dance, chant and melody and their uses in Buddhist and folk traditions. Clearfield writes, “Composing music can transport one to the far reaches of one’s imagination. Commissions often inspire me to explore places, subjects, sounds, and spaces that I might never have imagined, musical and otherwise. However, I had no way of knowing that my life would change as a result of a collaborative commission that would lead me to the top of the world.” The journey began when Clearfield was commissioned by Network for New Music to collaborate with painter Maureen Drdak in 2008. To gather research, Drdak and Clearfield trekked to Lo Monthang along with noted anthropologist, Sienna Craig. The resulting work, Lung-Ta, was premiered in 2009 and was presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an initiative for world peace. As a result of her visit, the community of Lo Monthang became interested in her documentation of their music, which had not been previously recorded. She returned to Lo Monthang in 2010 with anthropologist Katey Blumenthal to record the music of royal court singer, Tashi Tsering and women from the community. The 30-minute multi-movement work for Mendelssohn Club and the PA Girlchoir (almost 200 singers total), plus winds, strings, percussion and electronics will incorporate traditional Tibetan melodies from Lo Monthang and new poetry by Sienna Craig. See YouTube interviews about this work.
Andrea Clearfield (b. 1960) is an award-winning composer of music for orchestra, chorus, chamber ensembles, dance, and multimedia collaborations. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing”, the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “compositional wizardry” and “mastery with large choral and instrumental forces” and by the L.A. Times for her “fluid and glistening orchestration.” Her works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. Commissions include works for The Philadelphia Orchestra, Carol Wincenc, The Debussy Trio, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Turtle Creek Chorale, Mendelssohn Club, Orchestra 2001, and Network for New Music. She has composed ten cantatas for voices and orchestra. Dr. Clearfield was awarded 2012 fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, a Fundación Valparaiso residency in Spain and a Lucas Artist Residency at Montalvo in California. She was invited as a guest composer to the XI International Conservatory Week Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia in October, 2011 and was the recipient of a Fall, 2010 Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome from the American Composers Forum. She has also been awarded fellowships at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts among others. She has received grants and awards from numerous organizations including ASCAP, the NEA, American Music Center, American Composers Forum, International Alliance for Women in Music, Independence Foundation and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She has served on the composition faculty at The University of the Arts since 1986. Clearfield is also the founder and host of the renowned Philadelphia Salon concert series now celebrating its 25th year featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance, and world music and winner of Philadelphia Magazine’s 2008 “Best of Philadelphia” award. More at www.andreaclearfield.com.
Gabriel Fauré composed his Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 between 1887 and 1890. This choral–orchestral setting of the Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead is the best known of his large works. The most famous movement is the soprano aria Pie Jesu. Camille Saint-Saëns said of it, “just as Mozart’s is the only Ave verum Corpus, this is the only Pie Jesu.”source– Wikipedia
Gabriel Fauré was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. Among his best-known works are his Nocturnes for piano, the songs “Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune” and his Requiem.
By his last years, Fauré was recognized in France as the leading French composer of his day. An unprecedented national musical tribute was held for him in Paris in 1922 headed by the President of the Republic. Fauré had many admirers in England, but his music, though known in other countries, took decades more to become widely accepted. His music has been described as linking the end of Romanticism with the modernism of the second quarter of the 20th century. When he was born, Chopin was still composing, and by the time of his death the atonal music of the Second Viennese School was being heard. The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which describes him as the most advanced composer of his generation in France, notes that his harmonic and melodic innovations affected the teaching of harmony for later generations.