Ngwenyama - Sexagesimal Celebration - World Premier
Brahms - String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 18
Brahms - String Sextet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 36
A glorious evening of Brahms sextets played by Jaime Laredo and Pamela Frank, violins; Nokuthula Ngwenyama and Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, violas; and Keith Robinson and Sharon Robinson, cellos.
Happy Birthday Phoenix Chamber Music Society! As the Society’s composer-in-residence I am honored to present Sexagesimal Celebration commemorating sixty years of world-class performances in the Valley of the Sun. Many thanks for the opportunity to join fellow Sextet members Jaime Laredo, Pamela Frank, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Sharon Robinson, and Keith ‘Robby’ Robinson in wishing this community a very happy anniversary with many, many more.
Sixty is important. As a base evenly divided into 12 factors, time management is exposed as a 5 millennium old Sumerian relic. Their cuneiform show transaction catalogues and praise poetry. Their recorded lives demonstrate that our concerns as a species have not changed that much.
Base 60 easily pervades patterns of sound, rhythm and intervals, allowing ideas based on any of them to develop into a fantasy. Melodies are inspired by the landscape throughout Arizona, with a nadir of wind gusting across fields toward the Verde River on the Biggs’ Farm to anticipate.
Deep and loving thanks go to the Biggs and Clements families for supporting one of the few composer-in-residence positions for chamber music in the country. Thanks also to Phoenix Chamber Music Society Board President Michael Maas, the entire board, and Executive Director Janet Green for encouraging this work to be heard at this special presentation.