Left Coast Chamber Ensemble teams up with Volti, the Bay Area’s premiere new music chorus, for the opening concert its 2016—2017 season, A Close Correspondence, a special collaborative concert inspired by the art of letter writing. Together the ensembles present world premieres featuring letters of Janá?ek, Goethe, Virginia Woolf, and others. Separately, Left Coast’s string quartet performs Janá?ek?s "Intimate Letters" and Volti sings moving music by David Lang based on a soldier’s goodbye note.
The concert features the world premiere of Letters for String Quartet and Chorus by Volti’s resident composer Mark Winges. “This new work examines prose texts from three very different eras and writers in its three movements: Abelard and Héloïse (12th century), Leoš Janá?ek and Kamila Stösslová, and Virginia Woolf,” explains Winges. “The music sometimes reflects the mood and flow of the texts with little heed to the words themselves, and other times present the words in a very straightforward, intelligible manner.”
Turkish composer Onur Türkmen also contributes a new work for Left Coast’s string quartet and the Volti chorus. Inspired by a letter from Goethe to Charlotte von Stein, this piece explores not only unanswered questions about life and love, but also the bare sounds of the text and how they relate to each other. In this piece, as in many of his recent works, Türkmen uses makams, a system of scales used in Turkish classical music. He often focuses on connections between poetry, drama and ritual to create spiritual transformative environments for performers and audiences.
“Left Coast and Volti are coming together for these unique concerts about writing letters and making music. Both are vulnerable activities where intimate emotions come across, beautifully structured,” explains Anna Presler, LCCE Artistic Director. “We are excited to present all four works on the program together, each with different angles on correspondence, both wordless and articulated.”