February 5, 2014

Also a horn player before he turned to composition, Hans Abrahamsen was a key figure in the Danish New Simplicity movement which was a reaction to the complexities of the Darmstadt school. Though an early piece, his brass quintet Round and In-Between already exemplifies his interest in the temporal aspect of music. Episodes and figures are moved in and out of phase, mechanically repeated and combined like a series of slides. On January 26, 2011, Boston received a nearly perfect performance of his masterpiece Schnee (Snow) by the Ludovico Ensemble, not only musically but environmentally as well as a winter storm was in the process of burying New England in 10-15 inches of snow. Here are some thoughts on this piece by Jeff Means.