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New Music Program

Michael Arnowitt’s ambitious new music program is drawn from 20th century and new music of the highest possible level. He is particularly excited to present music by three of Europe’s leading composers: Sofia Gubaidulina of Russia, Gyorgy Ligeti of Hungary (now living in Austria and Germany) and Klarenz Barlow, who divides his time between Cologne and Amsterdam.

Also on the program is a major new work, "Lonesome Road Suite," by the American composer Larry Polansky, who teaches at Dartmouth College. The music is a set of variations based on Ruth Crawford Seeger’s harmonization of the folk song "Lonesome Road," published in 1927 in Carl Sandburg’s American Songbag. Mr. Polansky’s original work contains 51 variations, takes an hour and a half to perform, and was composed over the course of a year he spent in Indonesia. Its music was divided up by three pianists from Switzerland and premiered in Zurich in 1994. This Suite version comprises 14 variations selected by Michael Arnowitt in collaboration with the composer and gives a generous look at this fascinating and beautiful score.

One of the aims of the program is to present longer duration, more substantial works of contemporary music. So many commissions these days ask the composer to produce pieces of 10 minutes or less; the pieces on this program, however, are almost all in the 15-30 minute range and are of particularly high quality.

[Special note: the Barlow piece necessitates your hall having a second piano, for which certain notes must be tuned slightly downward; if your hall does not have a second piano other works can be substituted.]


Sofia Gubaidulina (Russia)Chaconne1962
Gyorgy Ligeti (Hungary)Etudes, Book I (selected)1985
Larry Polansky (U.S.A.)Suite from "Lonesome Road"1988-91
Olivier Messiaen (France)Par Lui tout a ete fait, #6 from
20 Regards sur l’enfant-Jesus
Klarenz Barlow (Germany)Coglu otobus isletmesi1978

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Created: 6/4/97 Updated: 6/7/97