September 26, 2016 Matt Haimovitz at The Crypt Sessions The cellist Matt Haimovitz is one of the mavericks of his instrument, breaking new ground with each commission for solo cello […]
September 17, 2016 The Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra doubled-down on the first half of the New Perspectives title in their debut concert for the 2016-17 season. Saturdayevening at the DECC Symphony […]
SONNTAG, 14. AUGUST 2016 im Bach glüht Alte Musik muss nicht in die Gegenwart übersetzt werden. Wenn Matt Haimovitz sie zum Klingen bringt, ist sie unser Jetzt Der Violoncellist Matt […]
March 1, 2016 On Sunday our dear friend, tenor Jonathan Blalock was in town as a soloist with the Washington Chorus at the National Presbyterian Church just up the street from […]
February 29, 2016 Massachusetts-born composer Luna Pearl Woolf returned to Washington on Sunday for a concert devoted to her music: two chamber works, a semi-operatic piece and excerpts from an […]
Cellist Matt Haimovitz and the vocal trio, “Voice,” have a devoted following. There was a surprisingly large audience at Hannaford Hall on Friday night, in spite of 10 inches of snow and icy roads. Most people stayed after the concert to meet the artists.
Haimovitz, one of today’s grand masters of the cello, is also known for his eccentric choices of repertoire and for performing in unusual venues. I saw him at the Odd Fellows Hall in Buckfield and at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit, where he played his own amazing version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner.”
Now he is collaborating with “Voice,” founded in 2006 by Emily Burn, Victoria Couper and Clemmie Franks. The problem, as Hamovitz explained, was that there was no repertoire for cello and vocal trio (…)
The music by Wolff demonstrated a search for authentic Hawaiian chant and island instruments including the nose flute, warrior sticks and stone castanets. The effective use of these instruments represented a reach to pre-Western influence, even as we had a Western orchestra juxtaposed in this clash of cultures.
Woolf might have done the music this way to allow for two Hawaiian compositions–the traditional “Kumulipo” (“Creation Chant”) and “Aloha ‘Oe”–to be featured. Queen Lili’uokalani was the English translator of “Kumulipo” and the composer of “Aloha ‘Oe.” The Dresser was impressed with how seamlessly and beautifully Woolf blended “Aloha ‘Oe” into the music ofBetter Gods, making this old chestnut new to the ear.
Offering something slightly more substantial than the 20-minute pieces shown last month, WNO premiered Better Gods, an hour-long work by composer Luna Pearl Woolf and librettist Caitlin Vincent on Friday evening. The subject is the fate of Queen Lili’uokalani, last monarch of Hawaii. In 1898, Lili’uokalani attempts to repudiate the U.S.-friendly constitution inherited from her predecessor and shore up Hawaiian sovereignty.
Washington National Opera’s Better Gods brings a mostly unknown chapter in Hawaiian history onto the stage at the Kennedy Center, telling the story of Queen Lili’uokalani, the island nation’s last monarch, with dignity and high artistic values. I imagine the Hawaiian “better gods” are happy.
Ms. Woolf’s gorgeous score is underlined by the use of traditional Hawaiian chants and her score utilized authentic instruments like the nose flute, Kala’au (percussive sticks), and Ili’ili (castanets), that are native to the island. Ms. Woolf’s score also uses Queen Lili`uokalani’s famous composition, “Aloha ‘Oe”, sung in gorgeous counterpoint by soprano Ariana Wehr.
Given his commitment to connecting with his audience, Haimovitz chose a unique way to share this passion with his listeners. He has commissioned preludes to the Six Solo Suites, created by contemporary composers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. “It’s a way to bring these suites into the 21st century,” he says, “to have living, breathing composers grapple with the materials, Bach’s musical building blocks, and find their own take on it.”
The six composers bringing contemporary vitality to Bach are Philip Glass, Luna Pearl Woolf, Du Yun, Vijay Iyer, Roberto Sierra, and Mohammed Fairouz. Haimovitz has encouraged them to draw on folk melodies, just as Bach did in his day. As we spoke, the pieces were still being written, and Haimovitz’s excitement and anticipation is contagious.
Cellist Matt Haimovitz brought a unique concert-going experience to Hamilton and Clinton on Nov. 6 – a moveable feast of Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.
By DAVID ALLEN,photographs by MICHAEL GEORGE October 26, 2015 Matt Haimovitz and his cello case with staff members from the Miller Theater before his pop-up concert at Brad’s Cafe at […]
By DAVID ALLEN October 26, 2015 Students eating at Columbia University’s John Jay Dining Hall, an airy den reverberating with undergraduate chatter, were in for a surprise last Wednesday. When […]
“Unconcerned with categories and unencumbered by genre, O’Riley and Haimovitz may be the coolest thing to hit classical music in ages.”