Composer Brien Henderson has curated a program entitled Unaccompanied: The Art of Solo Performance that will be given tomorrow evening at the Center for New Music (C4NM). This is a genre that places great demands on both the composer and the performer to express the totality of a musical idea through a single instrument. In many cases such compositions may well have been created for pedagogical purposes, the solo works for violin and cello by Johann Sebastian Bach being the best known cases in point. Nevertheless, so many performers have endowed their mastery of these Bach pieces with so much expressiveness that there is no questioning their having earned their place in concert settings. Thus, by 1923 we had Eugène Ysaÿe composing solo violin sonatas for six of the leading violin virtuosos of his day, all of which were intended for their recital programs.
Henderson has prepared a program of six compositions, all of which were intended for performance before an audience. All were composed in either this century or the last. In addition Henderson will “pull rank” by including the world premiere of his own work, “Confessions: I” for solo viola, on the program. The order of the full program has not yet been determined. However, here are the other five pieces that will be played, listed in alphabetical order by performer:
- Amy Foote, voice: “Recitations” by George Aperghis
- Gina Gulyas, flute: “Arc Flicker,” by Ben Sabey
- Megan McDevitt, bass: “Miniatures,” by Brent Miller
- Annie Philips, clarinet: sonata by John Cage
- Monika Warchol, horn: “Parable VIII” by Vincent Persichetti
It is worth noting that this program will cover over 80 years of music history, since Cage’s clarinet sonata was composed in 1933.
C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, about half a block north of the corner of Market Street. Tickets for Unaccompanied: The Art of Solo Performance will be $15 for general admission and $10 for members, available only at the door. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. tomorrow evening, Tuesday, August 12.