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Chatter to perform rarely heard music of renowned Canadian composer

Claude Vivier

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Chatter quartet will dip into the rarely heard music of the renowned Canadian composer Claude Vivier at the Las Puertas Event Center on Sunday, Jan. 26.

Vivier is widely considered one of the finest composers in Canadian history. He had established himself internationally before being murdered in Paris in 1983 at the age of just 34.

The quartet consisting of Jesse Tatum, flute; David Felberg, violin; James Holland, cello and Luke Gullickson, piano, will play Vivier’s “Paramirabo.”

The title refers obliquely to the capital of Suriname, a country the composer had visited only in his imagination. Vivier suffused the music with his fantasies of a distant and unknown South American city.

“There’s a naive exoticism to this piece,” flutist Jesse Tatum said. “It’s very melody-driven. Each instrument takes a little solo.

Jesse Tatum

“My favorite thing about this piece is there’s a lot of whistling,” she added. “There’s a lot of call-and-response that adds to the other worldliness of this piece.”

Morton Feldman’s “Durations I” follows, a piece by the 20th century composer most famous for writing “Rothko Chapel,” penned for the artist’s meditation room of the Menil Foundation in Houston in 1971.

Feldman found inspiration in the paintings of the Abstract Expressionists.

“People equate his sound with Rothko’s art,” Tatum said. “It is an encapsulation of being in the moment as it passes by.”

Two pieces by the French composer Lili Boulanger bookend the program. A Parisian-born child prodigy, she was the first female winner of the Prix de Rome composition prize.

Written in 1917, “D’un matin de printemps” (“Spring Memory”) is a symphonic poem.

“It has all of those feelings,” Tatum said. “It encompasses spring fever. A lot of her music influenced Debussy and you can hear that.”

The concert will close with Boulanger’s “D’un soir triste” (“The Sad Evening”) for violin, cello and piano.

“When I listen to it, I think of the emotional introspection of winter; meaningful and deep,” Tatum said.

Boulanger died at age 24 of what was then called “intestinal tuberculosis,” Tatum said. “It was probably Crohn’s disease.”

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