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Chamber music at the Albert Alphin Library: Non-Traditional Ensembles

Non-Traditional Ensembles

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, many composers have experimented with new chamber ensembles, combining wind, brass, string, percussion, and piano in a variety of different ways. These new instrumentations have expanded beyond traditional groupings, bringing together all sorts of sonorities. Listed below is a sample of these works that can be found at the Albert Alphin Library.

Kaija Saariaho - Trois rivières

Kaija Saariaho is a Finnish composer whose works explore tone color and harmonies. She is an early adopter of electronic music, combining live and taped electronics with acoustic instruments as early as 1982. Her work for percussion and live electronics, Trois rivières, includes both French words and nonsense words and was written at the same time as her incredibly famous stage work L'amour de loin.

Available at M585 .S23 T7 2013 in the Albert Alphin Library.

Marti Epstein - Fold

Marti Epstein is a professor of composition at the Boston Conservatory and is well-known for her slow-paced, angular, cantabile melodies. One of her earlier works, Fold, was written for bassoon, clarinet, and oboe and was commissioned by the New England Reed Trio. Although there is no online recording currently available, the score and parts are accessible at the library through the call number M457.2.E678 F65 2015.

Tōru Takemitsu - Toward the Sea

Tōru Takemitsu was a Japanese composer who wrote for a variety of chamber ensembles and genres. He frequently referred to imagery of water in his compositions, including in his piece Toward the Sea for alto flute and guitar, written in 1981. This was written shortly after his notable orchestral piece, A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden, and features an "increasingly linear orientation" related to Takemitsu's ideas of narrative song.

Available at M297 .T13 T69 n.1 2014 in the Albert Alphin Library.

Michelle Lou - Untitled three-part construction

Michelle Lou is a performer and composer, incorporating analog and electronic music together in performance. She has studied with numerous composers, including Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Brian Ferneyhough. Her piece, Untitled three-part construction, for accordion and two percussionists, has specific instrument placement for performance and does not have any tempo marking, only an indication that each system is twenty seconds long.

Available at M385 .L92 U5 2017 in the Albert Alphin Library.