Dutch Volkskrant Review of Song of Myself for Cappella Amsterdam

The first review from Dutch Volkskrant is in:

Auznieks' piece has several surprises. The silence becomes uncomfortable. The 24 singers of Cappella Amsterdam have been standing with their eyes closed for three minutes, as if they are meditating about what I know. The smooth waving of their guest conductor, Krista Audere from Latvia, is also frozen. A bench crunches in the Pieterskerk in Utrecht. A stomach breaks. Someone whispers the question that haunts everyone. Should we clap or not?

Rather not, because after four or five minutes, the premiere piece by the young Latvian composer Krists Auznieks (27) is back on track. He wrote Song of Myself for this theatrical concert about love letters and (especially) Baltic choral music.

The new piece by Auznieks also has a coup. Henchmen are singers from Audere's own VU Chamber Choir, which unexpectedly sound from the church. Those who want to undergo the spell will join Amsterdam or Maastricht this week. Or let the ears wash live on Thursday evening via Radio 4.

https://www.volkskrant.nl/cultuur-media/de-letse-gastdirigent-krista-audere-masseert-de-kelen-van-cappella-amsterdam-naar-een-verbluffende-souplesse~b7219cbf/?referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&fbclid=IwAR1gpA2JpwDoX0OwUhI1XDHDHm9Vw70vQkW4eqaU-B0MPES4kR-RSgMkBas

Song of Myself at Vlissingen's St. Jacobskerk. Cappella Amsterdam.

The journey of 'Song of Myself' continues: today at St. Jacobskerk in Vlissingen at 3.30PM

'Song of Myself' for two antiphonal choirs and speaker is a testimony to human dignity

It is an honor to bring together Cappella Amsterdam, VU-Kamerkoor, conductor Krista Audere, and actresses Maaike Martens and Maartje Van de Wetering. It happens to be the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman, as well as the 25th anniversary of Nexus Instituut.

The text is based on fragments from 'Leaves of Grass' and inspired by the ideals espoused in Rob Riemen's (the president of Nexus) book 'Nobility of Spirit.''

If you cannot make it tonight, there are more concerts coming up in Amsterdam, and Maastricht.

Getting Ready for Prague Quadrennial 2019

Getting ready for Prague Quadrennial 2019: somebody will be punching almost 3000 holes which will correspond to pitches from the score you can see in front of you. It will become a giant music box. Check out other works by Krista&Reinis Dzudzilo: kristadzudzilo.lv, reinisdzudzilo.lv. They are brilliant and their work is insightful and highly distilled.

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Guitarist Jiji to premiere Auznieks' Cor at Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series

Bringing virtuosity and style to both the acoustic and electric repertoire, award-winning guitarist Jiji shows off her range in a captivating program spanning Bach to Reich.

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Philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer says that “we should never underestimate what a word can tell us, for language represents the previous accomplishment of thought.”

I love the root “Cor.” In Latin it refers to “heart,” hence the English word “core” as the center of one’s being. However, in Latin figuratively it also refers to soul and mind. It turns out that “courage” has the same origin. And so does conCORd: of one mind, bring into union. Take yet another route and it means to remember (reCORdor: call to mind, recollect) but in some dialectical variants it can even refer to God. I like to imagine, in a somewhat fanciful manner, that guitar strings participate in that history and that the word “cord” shares something with the etymology of “cor”: after all, Italians use “CORde per chittara” to talk about guitar strings. But how far is “chord” from “cord?” When we say “to strike a chord,” we are refering to both, “heart” and “concord,” and at times we say it to tell each other that we remember (reCORdor) something else because of a similarity.

When Jiji asked me to write her a piece, I knew I wanted it to be about being Human, that is, something essential that speaks about a condition that transcends our current time and place. For me, it entails both the Enlightenment’s Mind and the Romanticism’s Heart, and I feel that the guitar has an equal dose of both. Its heart, its strings (CORde) — at least linguistically — are closely tied to its body (CORpus) bringing together body, mind, and heart in an effortless play. After spending months with the piece, I became convinced that the other connotations of the word “Cor” were as relevant to the music: it requires a great deal of courage from the performer as well as concord among mind, body, and heart; and there is an underlying remembrance of things past. Portuguese “cor” for color, reveals the piece’s focus on varied hues of a similar harmony and the Old French “cor” that refers to a horn hints at the horn calls that summon us to witness a mind-body union later in the piece. Even Gaelic “cor” is relevant: it is a word for “condition,” “state” or even “eventuality” revealing the inevitability inherent in the musical materials.

Cordially,

Krists

Atlanta Symphony's 75th Season to feature Auznieks' "Crossing"

Celebrated throughout the world, the gardens of Andalusia are a wondrous blend of Roman and Moorish architecture bejeweled by intensely-hued tiles and fountains. Spanish composer Manuel de Falla draws you into these intoxicating spaces through the piano showpiece Nights in the Gardens of Spain. Robert Spano welcomes the elegant Mexican virtuoso Jorge Federico Osorio to perform this hypnotic score. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra closes the program with selections from Sergei Prokofiev's ballet masterpiece Romeo and Juliet.

Performance Dates

Thursday, January 9, 2020 8:00 PM

Saturday, January 11, 2020 8:00 PM

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Auznieks Awarded Sarasota Orchestra Earshot Fellowship

EarShot, an initiative of American Composers Orchestra (ACO) in partnership with American Composers Forum, League of American Orchestras, and New Music USA, is the nation's first ongoing program for identifying and promoting the most promising orchestral composers on the national stage. Led by Los Angeles based conductor Christopher Rountree, four composers hailing from across the nation will hear their music played for the very first time. In seminars, feedback sessions and workshops the composers will spend the week working with the musicians of Sarasota Orchestra. The public will have several unique opportunities to see how the compositions develop in behind-the-scenes reading sessions leading up to Sarasota Orchestra's world premiere performances of the finished scores.

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