Alarm Will Sound Performs New Works by Steve Reich, Donnacha Dennehy; Dennehy Named Fort Worth Symphony Composer-in-Residence
Alarm Will Sound will perform a program of new works, featuring Steve Reich's Radio Rewrite and scenes from Donnacha Dennehy's The Hunger, at Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis Wednesday night. The group gave the US premiere of Radio Rewrite, which draws inspiration from songs by Radiohead, at Stanford University's Bing Concert Hall this past Saturday and will give the New York premiere of The Hunger, based on the Irish famine, in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on Saturday, April 6. Alarm Will Sound's conductor and artistic director Alan Pierson spoke with St. Louis magazine about tonight's program for an extensive article available at stlmag.com.
Last Saturday's US premiere of Radio Rewrite was part of an all-Reich program that opened with the composer joining in a performance of his Clapping Music, and also included Piano Counterpoint, City Life, Four Genesis Settings from The Cave, and New York Counterpoint. The "ambitious program," writes San Jose Mercury News music critic Richard Scheinin, "offered deep pleasures." Echoing the titles of Radio Rewrite's inspirations, Scheinin says: "His works are ingenious puzzles, where everything sits just right."
"Alarm Will Sound brought warmth, vitality, and theatricality to a program focused on the minimalist master Steve Reich," writes the San Francisco Classical Voice's Maggee VanSpeybroeck. Of Radio Rewrite, she explains: "The five-movement piece was seamless and allowed the listener, once again, to get swept away into the mystically hypnotic world of Steve Reich."
The Alarm Will Sound performances of Donnacha Dennehy's new work in St. Louis and New York come just as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has announced that the Irish composer will be its composer-in-residence during the 2013–14 season, which will include performances of his works Crane, The Vandal, and That the Night Come.
That the Night Come, comprising six settings of poems by W. B. Yeats, was featured on Dennehy's 2011 Nonesuch debut album, Grá agus Bás, along with the title piece, which was inspired by sean-nós "old style" Irish vocal music. The Dublin–based Crash Ensemble, conducted by none other than Alan Pierson, performs both works on the album. Irish singer Iarla O’Lionáird is the soloist for Grá agus Bás; Dawn Upshaw is featured on That the Night Come. All of the artists from the album will perform the repertoire at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on May 14, and in Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on May 17.
For additional details on upcoming performances, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.