My compositions use these sliding tones to create structures, „drawing“ geometrical systems of lines and curves which are slowly channelled into various intervallic relationships, creating a system of tension and release.
Delta – Music for Orchestra IV uses the actual shape of the sign ∆ as the formal structure of the composition. Slow upwardly gliding lines are positioned over the tone “D” spinning a long web of harmonies and overtones driving towards a “D” unison. The expectations are, however, interrupted by a catharsis.
Tomorrow, 9 January, the UK première of Jay Schwartz’ Delta – Music for Orchestra IV will be performed at the City Halls in Glasgow. Matthias Pintscher conducts the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
We’ve prepared a short playlist of the music of Jay Schwartz for you – the composer will be celebrating his 50th birthday on 26 June.
Find out more about Jay Schwartz.
There is something about using a form that is based on metamorphosis that could be considered slightly manipulating – manipulating the audience to come with the composer in a certain direction. Although manipulation can be understood as negative in many contexts. Perhaps manipulation in this context could be understood as narrating or luring, so that a conscious voice exists and not merely a collection of coincidences or random events.
The Canadian première of Jay Schwartz’ Music for Orchestra III will be performed on 18 April at the Orpheum Annex in Vancouver.
The full programme is available on the website of Vancouver New Music.
Find an interview with the composer titled “Metamorphosis of sound” in our digital magazine MusikSalon:
Jay Schwartz’ Music for Chamber Ensemble will be performed this Saturday, 6 December, at the Amphithéâtre of the Cité de la musique. Here are Franck Ferville’s snapshots of conductor Paul Fitzsimon and the ensemble intercontemporain from the rehearsals.
Schwartz’ compositions employ aspects of the physics of sound and utilize tonality in the context of the physics of organic harmony, making use of the overtone spectrum, microtonality, and glissandi in a poetic context with a captivating sensuous drawing power and an unabashed emotional disposition.
View Jay Schwartz’ composer profile on the website of the ensemble intercontemporain.
The composer on Music for Chamber Ensemble:
Music for Chamber Ensemble is a geometry of lines and curves and intersections following the musical laws of horizonal time and vertical intervals, and the architectural laws of structure and proportion.
In the structure of Music for Chamber Ensemble, lines originating from diametrically opposed points follow a course whose metamorphosis leads to a catharsis. All events point to or take their reference from this catharsis. It is my objective in my work to craft the architecture of a piece into a single scope of time. My guidelines are principles of architectural harmony, as well as the employment of empirical and intuitive methods of experimenting with time and musical memory, which yield results that correspond often astonishingly to principles of proportion millenia old.
We wish you all the best!
Find out more about the music of Jay Schwartz in our in-depth interview with the composer:
The composer about the work:
This composition expounds on the spatial aspects of an ensemble of 12 cellists seated in a wide circle. A performance of this piece requires a spatial situation in which the cellists can be positioned in 12 equidistant positions around the audience. A three-dimensional sound experience and the illusion of travelling sound is achieved by this ensemble constellation, a sound metamorphosis which unfolds concretely around the audience.
In a concert of US premières Jay Schwartz’s M for baritone and ensemble has recently been performed at the Ny Phil Biennial. Matthias Pintscher conducted musicians of the New York Philharmonic, listen to the program on wfmt.
Jay Schwartz: Music for 12 Cellos
for 12 violoncellos | 20'
08.06.2014, Hubbard Hall; Music from Salem
The composition is based on Dido’s Lament from Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas, the lyrics are taken directly from Nahum Tate’s libretto after Vergil’s Aeneis.
View the full study score.
Jay Schwartz: Lament
for solo voice and saxophone quartet | 12'
28.05.2014, Marktoberdorf, Bayerische Musikakademie; Christina Bock, ms; Raschèr Saxophone Quartet
SWR2 broadcasts the concert on 8 February at 8pm, three hours after the performance. Listen live.
View the full study score.
Jay Schwartz: Delta – Music for Orchestra IV
for orchestra | 25'
4 4 4 4 - 6 4 4 1 - Kontrabass (5-stringed), perc(3), vln.I, vln.II, vla, vc
world prem. 08.02.2014, Theaterhaus, Stuttgart; RSO Stuttgart, cond. Johannes Kalitzke
Zeit-Ton broadcasts the second part of the Salzburg Festival’s Beyond Recall project today, for which twelve composers were commissioned to write compositions for twelve works of art that were created in the frame of the Salzburg Art Project. These compositions were premièred on 24 August by the Scharoun Ensemble.
Listen live to Zeit-Ton on Ö1.
Tonight, 27/8/2013, 23:03 (CET/CEST), Ö1 broadcasts a Zeit-Ton special on the Salzburg Festival’s Beyond Recall, for which twelve composers were commissioned to write compositions for twelve works of art that were created in the frame of the Salzburg Art Project.
You can find a (German) review of the evening on the Salzburger Nachrichten.
Twelve composers have been commissioned to write compositions for twelve works of art that were created in the frame of the Salzburg Art Project. The compositions will be premièred on 24 August by the Scharoun Ensemble. Among the composers are Vykintas Baltakas with Eselsbrücke, Johannes Maria Staud with Caldera (für Tony Cragg) and Jay Schwartz with M.
Vykintas Baltakas: Eselsbrücke
for ensemble | 10’
world prem. 24/8/2013, Mozarteum; Scharoun Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker, cond. Matthias Pintscher
Jay Schwartz: M
for baritone and ensemble | 12’
1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc, pno, str
world prem. 24/8/2013, Mozarteum; Matthias Goerne, bar; Scharoun Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker, cond. Matthias Pintscher
Johannes Maria Staud: Caldera (für Tony Cragg)
for soprano, clarinet and piano (with active page-turner)
world prem. 24/8/2013, Mozarteum; Mojca Erdmann, s; Scharoun Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker, cond. Matthias Pintscher
Beyond Recall at the Salzburg Festival.
The first performance of the work – which concerns itself with the phenomena of the transformation between different times, but also between life and the afterlife and the boundaries between light and darkness – took place earlier this month, on 11 July in Cologne, with the composer conducting the Kölner Vokalsolisten. Enjoy!
Music for Orchestra II
Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, cond. Brad Lubman
Tuesday, 2 April, 23:03 | Ö1