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SFCMP to present a second call-and-response approach to Anton Webern

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As I have previously reported, the fifteenth anniversary Call & Response program presented by the Cypress String Quartet involves “calls” from two composers, Franz Schubert and Anton Webern. Not only does the “Schubert call” (the D. 887 string quartet in G major, the composer’s final string quartet) contrast sharply with Webern’s work; but also there are two equally contrasting Webern compositions involved in the project, the early “Langamer Satz” (slow movement), composed in 1905 at the very beginning of Webern’s studies with Arnold Schoenberg, and the Opus 5 set of five brief movements for string quartet. Later this month the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) will present the results of their own call-and-response approach to Webern.

In the next concert in the 2013–14 season, entitled Project Anton, Webern’s Opus 24 concerto, scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, and piano, will be performed to serve as the “call” for a commissioned “response” by Polish composer Jaroslaw Kapuscinski entitled “Pointing Twice.” Rather that conceiving his response strictly in terms of its instrumentation, however, Kapuscinski has created an intermedia project in which the nine musicians will be joined by a custom-built turntable created by the Canadian instrument designer John Granzow. The performance will also include choreography by the Korean Young-Doo Jung and video projection.

Through the use of projection, the scope of Project Anton extends beyond the concert hall. It also involves a collaboration with ArtSeed, a program founded in 2000 by the artist Josefa Vaughan, which provides opportunities for San Francisco youngsters to interact with professional artists for long-term instruction and projects that take place both in studio groups and through one-on-one apprenticeships. Students participating in ArtSeed have been introduced to not only Opus 24 but also the broader scope of Webern’s life and work; and they have been working on “responses” through the media of the visual arts. Projections of these results will thus also be incorporated into the concert performance of Opus 24.

The concert program will present additional compositions by two prominent “post-Webern” composers, “In Memoriam Jon Higgins” by Alvin Lucier, scored for solo clarinet and sine wave oscillator, and “La Chute D’Icare” (the fall of Icarus) by Brian Ferneyhough.

The Project Anton concert will be presented in the YBCA Forum at Yerba Buena Gardens (701 Mission Street), beginning at 8 p.m. There will be a pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m. General admission is $30 with a $12 rate for students with valid identification. Tickets may be purchased in advance from a Brown Paper Tickets event page. SFCMP also has its own event page for this concert with hyperlinks for further information about both this and future concerts.

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