Magazine article Strings

From Horn to Hamlet

Magazine article Strings

From Horn to Hamlet

Article excerpt

"I have totally been fascinated by strings for the past two decades]," says Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen, who played the French horn in his youth, "especially harmonics-those on the lower instruments." It's the subtle differences in tone color, he says, and the microtonality available through extended techniques that interest him the most. Abrahamsen won the 2016 Grawemeyer Award for music composition for his song cycle Let Me Tell You (2013), which distinguishes itself by using the orchestra-especially the strings-as a true partner to the soprano voice, as opposed to an accompaniment. At press time, the piece was scheduled to debut in the US in January, with performances in New York and Boston. Set to an excerpted text by Paul Griffiths, the piece is based on his novel exploring Shakespeare's ill-fated character Ophelia, famously held to under 500 words in the entirety of Hamlet. …

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