Reviews

Ambitious inaugural by "Ars Nova Dallas" exceeds with Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire
"Ars Nova" first appeared c.1320-22 in a treatise on a new 14th century music style denoted by increasingly liberal rhythmic notations that resulted in a new polyphony. Fast forward to its meaning in 2009 as "Ars Nova Dallas". "Ars Nova Dallas" aspires to present new music styles since the radical rupture of 1909-13 from Romanticism and Impressionism . Of the three pivotal works from this musical big bang - Elektra R.Strauss 1909, Pierrot Lunaire A.Schoenberg 1911, Rite of Spring I.Stravinsky 1913 - "Ars Nova Dallas" chose the nine instrument configuration of Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg.

The decision to launch a new music festival with Pierrot Lunaire is daring indeed. The impressive results speak volumes about the musical integrity of its founders, Jordan Smith and Ryan Ross. In the space of six months they obtained sponsorship, organized The Dallas Festival of Modern Music and assembled a collection of highly capable regional musicians - "Ars Nova Dallas" - to perform an inaugural concert series. Mr. Smith says his inspiration derived from synergy with the opening of the new AT&T Performing Arts Center and his desire to further expose under represented modern music repertoire. Included in Mr. Smith's future agenda will be equal proportions of 20th century musical icons alongside living composers who offer immediacy and relevance to the era in which we live.

This performance trend is not a Dallas phenomenon but rather indicative of a broader development of western cultural expression that has come of age. In significant music centers around this country and countries of western Europe, well trained classical musicians educated in 20th century music are making their voices heard by creating their own, often times non-traditional, venues. The previously thought difficult and unplayable is no more. Since 1964, with Terry Riley's In C, another reaction revolted against the established order. This time, in lieu of the exclusivity of abstract seri
Dana Banks, Examiner

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Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21

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