Contriving the Chimes
A new work for voice and String Quartet
“...dazzling, emotionally generous take on a Baroque dance suite.”
—New York Times on Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices
In a first-time collaboration, Mohr Visiting Artist Majel Connery and the St. Lawrence String Quartet partner with the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw and famed opera director Christopher Alden to present a workshop staging of Shaw’s latest commission, the vocal quintet Contriving the Chimes. Based on Isaac Newton’s “Before Whitsunday 1662,” Shaw’s work for voice and string quartet sets to music a list of sins penned by a boyish 19-year-old Newton. Shaw’s playful, seemingly improvised textures offer a cheeky counterpoint to Newton’s earnest confessions. Together with a song cycle by Doug Balliett, August is also cruel, Shaw’s work appears for the first time in a workshop staging by Alden.
POST-SHOW DISCUSSION. The evening concludes with a panel conversation led by dramaturg and University of Chicago professor David J. Levin.
Caroline Shaw: Contriving the Chimes
Based on Sir Isaac Newton’s “Before Whitsunday 1662”
Doug Balliett: August is also cruel