We all know those moments in music where completely disparate elements come together to speak the full scope of human experience with incredible power.
Baroque era musicians like Bach looked to the rhetorical style of ancient Greeks to inform their composing. Bach’s masterful Sonata No. 1 in b minor is a conversation in this setting for violin and piano. Finnish Composer Tomi Räisänen uses the rhetorical style of the Baroque period in Diabolic Dialogues. In a very different way, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dedicated her life to the persuasive art of rhetoric. My Dearest Ruth, a setting of Martin Ginsburg’s last letter to his wife by Stacy Garrop, was commissioned in celebration of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 80th birthday by Ginsburg’s children.
George Lewis, among the most important visionaries of our day, creates a remarkably human dialogue between flute and electronics in his Emergent. Reena Esmail’s Saans captures the beauty of the human breath. In a play on words, the piece becomes an elegy to those impacted by the Covid-19 virus and police violence. Finally, deconstructing the art of rhetoric to simple letters, Shawn Okpebholo’s CryptOlogiE presents the love of family by interweaving the initials of his daughters into this electrifying work.
Johann Sebastian Bach | Sonata No. 1 in b minor BWV 1014 (violin, piano)
Reena Esmail | Saans (violin, cello, piano)
Stacy Garrop | My Dearest Ruth (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano)
George Lewis | Emergent (flute, electronics)
Shawn Okpebholo | CryptOlogiE (
Tomi Räisänen | Diabolic Dialogues (clarinet, cello)
Daniel Schlosberg | piano
Jennie Oh Brown | flute
Andrea R. DiOrio | clarinet
Elizabeth Brausa Brathwaite | violin
Paula Kosower | cello
Jonathon Kirk | composer-in-residence