For their Iowa debut, Ensemble Dal Niente presents a program that links works from Dal Niente’s core repertoire to music of the past.
Selections by Hector Berlioz (1803-69) and Johannes Brahms (1833-97) on the first half of the program demonstrate similar and contrasting approaches to composition both alongside contemporary works and alongside each other. Berlioz shocked the musical world of his time with unusual combinations of instruments and techniques illustrating grand and even hallucinatory sound worlds; elements of his approach have been distilled in Marcos Balter’s dreamy memória and theatrical music by Jessie Marino that uses the voice and found objects as musical tools. A movement of Johannes Brahms’ (1833-97) deeply serious Horn Trio will be paired with a breakneck response composed by György Ligeti in 1982.
In the second half of the program, two large-ensemble works fuse intricate chamber music sounds with pop references in a larger ensemble setting. Greg Saunier’s Deerhoof Chamber Variations recasts Deerhoof songs in half-familiar classical styles with a disarming charm, resulting in a quirky, fragmentary medley of excerpts from the band’s catalog; LJ White’s world premiere composition will build on the work of Des Moines recording artist Christopher the Conquered, continuing White’s tradition of assimilating “an unrestricted array of influences through unpredictable-yet-contagious rhythms, strange and evocative sonorities, self-evident gestures, and apposite forms.”
LJ White - World Premiere (2017) for two sopranos, saxophone, horn, harp piano, violin, cello, bass
Greg Saunier - Deerhoof Chamber Variations (2013) for two sopranos, saxophone, horn, harp piano, violin, cello, bass
Johannes Brahms - Horn Trio - I (1865) for violin, horn, piano
György Ligeti - Horn Trio - II (1982) for violin, horn, piano
Marcos Balter - memória (2007) for solo cello
Jessie Marino - Witford Rimley and his Robotic Dog Seize Burger King in a Bloodless Coup (2013) for performer(s) and two transducers
Hector Berlioz - Mongagnard Exile (1823) for two sopranos, harp