SANTA FE, N.M. — A couple of world premieres showcase the compositional talents of David Ludwig and Alyssa Weinberg at Music from Angel Fire.
Those premieres also serve to highlight students and their mentors.
Ludwig’s “Rule of Three” for Two Violins and Viola, which is premiering Wednesday, Aug. 26, acknowledges the mentorship of violinist Ida Kavafian and violist Steven Tenenbom to Ludwig’s violinist-wife Bella Hristova. The three musicians are performing it.
“The piece is based on the idea of the rule of three (or rule of thirds) in art,” said Ludwig, the summer festival’s composer-in-residence.
Other thoughts went into his creation of the piece.
“I think a lot about numbers when I compose. … In the end it’s the music and how it sounds. It’s important for me that the music is always engaging for the listeners,” he said.
The piece, with six movements, also was inspired by Baroque trio sonatas “in the way you have three instruments acting independently and coming together. And the idea of counterpoint,” Ludwig said.
He’s also interested in how instruments weave together to make whole fabric of a piece.
The premiere of “Rule of Three” will be at the Angel Fire Community Center. Earlier the same day at a “Closer Encounters: Meet the Composer” event, Ludwig will discuss it as part of a free, open rehearsal at the community center.
Ludwig himself has been a mentor to Weinberg at the Curtis Institute of Music where Hristova was mentored.
“I’m appreciative and proud of all that Alyssa has accomplished. Her music, for me, has a very poignant quality to it. It’s very personal and unique to her,” he said.
Weinberg will have two of her works performed at Music from Angel Fire.
On Sept. 1 at Raton’s Shuler Theater, the Dola Quartet will perform Weinberg’s “Parallels” for String Quartet. The piece honors visual artist William Glackens, whose work was constantly evolving, she said, and she found a number of parallels between Glackens’ life and the subjects of her music.
On the festival’s final program, Sept. 6 at the community center, will be the premiere of Weinberg’s “Fantasia Senza Misura” for Violin and Cello. It is on the festival’s final summer program.
It was largely influenced by two composers – Arnold Schoenberg and Ornette Coleman, said Weinberg, the festival’s Young Artist Composer-in-Residence.
“Schoenberg is one of my favorite composers. When I read about Coleman passing (recently), I wanted to pay tribute to him,” she said.”I used the fantasia form because I found a recording of a Schoenberg violin fantasy and Coleman wrote a violin fantasia. … The fantasia is the freest of musical forms. Ornate was known for free improvisation.”
Weinberg said that as part of her festival residence she will talk at a Sept. 4 “Meet the Composer” event and participate in the festival’s young artists outreach to communities in northern New Mexico.
Both the Weinberg and Ludwig premieres are festival commissions.
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is honoring Music from Angel Fire’s commissioning history in February with a concert, said Kavafian, the festival’s artistic director. The ensemble Opus One will play four commissioned works.