The Orchestra Reborn

The Phoenix Blog

The Art of Rhythm - Further Listening

Coming off of our show, "The Art of Rhythm," I wanted to be sure our audience had even more amazing music to listen to in the coming week. I reached out to Music Director, Matt Szymanski, for some thoughts on what tunes people might love based on whatever pieces they enjoyed at our show. Here's what he said.

- Jesse Christeson

So You Liked…

Johann Sebastian Bach - The Art of Fugue

Well, the rest of it, for starters. At The Art of Rhythm we performed just 5 of the 18 pieces that make up this masterwork. So if you’re looking for more like it, well, Bach’s got you covered.


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Something similar by Bach, like The Musical Offering. Musical Offering is a similar collections of canons and fugues, but they are all based on a musical theme that was given to him by Frederick the Great as a challenge. This comes to a climax in the Ricercar a 6, a six-voice fugue (just imagine what you heard on Wednesday, but with six parts instead of four) that has been called the most significant piano composition in history by musicologist and pianist Charles Rosen.

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Anna Clyne - A Wonderful Day

How about something else from Field Recordings? A Wonderful Day was part of a collection of pieces commissioned by Bang on a Can called Field Recordings. They all feature recorded audio along with acoustic instruments. Another personal favorite is Reeling by the amazing Julia Wolfe.


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Or something else by Anna Clyne herself? You probably learned on Wednesday that Anna Clyne served as Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony from 2010 to 2015. Amongst other things, that means some of the music she wrote during that time requires HUGE orchestras. One such piece is Night Ferry, a 2012 composition centered around Frank Schubert’s mood disorder (cyclothymia), and the rapid shifts of dark despair and violent anger that accompany it. #PiecesIWishWeCouldPerform


Honstein - Conduit

OH YOU LOVE HONSTEIN’S MUSIC? So do I. If you’re looking for more there’s no better place, I think, to start than Patter. It just has that vibe of home. Like our percussionist Dave Tarantino said on Wednesday night, it feels like it was written for now. Even better, you can listen to the arrangement for marimba trio in a recording featuring Maria Finkelmeier, who’s Daft & Gritty for Chamber Orchestra we premiered on Wednesday night!


Needham - Urban Sprawl

I think it sprang to mind mainly because of the topic (City, Urban Sprawl, get it?), but Judd Greenstein’s City Boy definitely has a similar (if toned down) jazz-rhythmic vibe to Urban Sprawl. At Phoenix we’ve been fans of Greenstein’s music forever. We performed his Clearing, Dawn, Dance at our second concert EVER in 2014. Any chance to give his music a listen is worth it!

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Jason Treuting - Extremes

Jason Treuting is kind of one of those rapidly-emerging have-to-hear-it composers. Actually, just last week while we were performing his Extremes for Percussion Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, who premiered Robert Honstein’s Conduit, were premiering one of his first-ever non-percussion pieces! Life is [] will be totally recognizable to anybody that was at our show on Wednesday. Even better, here it is performed by So Percussion themselves!


Maria Finkelmeier - Daft & Gritty for Chamber Orchestra

You probably got this from Wednesday’s show, but Finkelmeier is prolific. Whether it’s her work with Masary Studios, Kadence Arts, Make Music Boston, or just her own music, she’s been producing a lot of work around Boston the last few years! A personal favorite is Know No, composed and directed by Finkelmeier and produced by Masary Studios in 2017. Here's a video compilation of Know No from The Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama!