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KUAF Music and Culture

Of Note for Thursday, July 30, 2015: Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's "Commedia Dell'Arte"


Ellen Taaffe Zwilich was inspired by the Italian Renaissance theatre when she composed “Commedia Dell’Arte,” and the piece perfectly embodies the art form for which it is named. Peter Laki explains in his liner notes for the album that “each of the first three movements…is a portrait of a particular character.” For instance, the somersaults of the nimble harlequin become “musical somersaults” in the solo violin line and slapsticks—literally a pair of sticks that are struck against each other that provide the origin to the term “slapstick comedy”—further illustrate his character. Listen as this fascinating and capricious piece for chamber orchestra brings Renaissance comedy to life in a whole new way on Thursday’s program.

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