La Jolla, Calif. (January 13, 2010) — The La Jolla Symphony " Chorus (LJS"C) presents its third concert of the 56th season, Face the Music, with Music Director Steven Schick conducting works by Claude Debussy, a world premiere by Phil Kline with contemporary ensemble Real Quiet, and the U.S. premiere of the original (alpha) version of Iannis Xenakis’ Metastasis.
The concert opens with two of Debussy’s three nocturnes, Nuages and Fêtes, written in 1899. We hear the composer’s fascination with pure sound in the veiled textures and colors of Nuages and the brilliant enunciations of Fêtes. Debussy’s final orchestral work, his wry ballet Jeux, written in 1912 for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, concludes the concert. “In Jeux, we hear Debussy’s fascination with the suppleness of line and color. The number of tempo changes in this 17-minute work surpasses 60, which means that every few seconds Debussy redirects us,” says Maestro Schick.
Contrasting the works of Debussy is the world premiere of Phil Kline’s A Dream and Its Opposite, composed for three soloists – piano, cello, and percussion – and full orchestra. The work was commissioned by Muzik3 and written for guest artists Real Quiet (Felix Fan on cello, Andrew Russo on piano, with percussionist Dustin DeHart substitutingfor David Cossin). Kline is an American composer known for making music in many genres and contexts, from vast boombox symphonies such as Unsilent Night to songs cycles to chamber and orchestral music. The composer, who joins us at this concert, describes his new work as a tone poem with featured players as figures moving in and out of a lush but somewhat eerie landscape.
At the center of the weekend’s concert is the U.S. premiere of Iannis Xenakis’ Metastasis (alpha version) performed the week marking the tenth anniversary of his death (Feb. 4, 2001).
“It is safe to say that I learned how to play percussion music by playing the pieces of Iannis Xenakis,” says Schick, an internationally renowned percussionist whose recordings include a three CD set of the complete percussion music of the composer. “[From Xenakis] I learned a basic truth about percussion music: it is not about rhythm; it’s about sound.”
Xenakis, an architect as well as a composer, wrote Metastasis in 1953-54 about the same time as he was conceiving the design of the Philips Pavilion for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. In a remarkable act of translation, the shapes of the architectural structure became the instrumental lines and massed sonorities of Metastasis
“You’ll hear more than 40 independent string parts arc upwards and back, just like the ascending and descending lines of Xenakis’ Philips Pavilion blueprint,” says Schick.
The performances take place February 5-6, 2011 in Mandeville Auditorium at UCSD. Concert times are 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. (Please note the Sunday matinee is at 1:00 p.m. for this performance only.) Individual tickets are $29 general, $26 senior, and $15 student. Group discounts are available. Parking is free. A pre-concert lecture is offered one hour prior to concert times. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the LJS&C at (858) 534-4637.
The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, San Diego’s oldest and largest community orchestra and chorus, is a non-profit musical performing group dedicated to inspiring San Diego with the joy of music. Its 110-person orchestra and 130-person chorus perform groundbreaking orchestral and choral music along with traditional favorites from the classical repertoire. During the 55th season, maestro Steven Schick shares the podium with Choral Director David Chase.