Chamber Ensemble Commission: Azwaj by Saad Haddad

Chamber Ensemble Commission: Azwaj by Saad Haddad

From June 23, 2018 4:00 pm until June 23, 2018 5:00 pm

At Library Auditorium

Posted by Third Sun

Categories: Classical

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Performed by Sinfonia Salt Lake with Robert Baldwin, Conductor and Artistic Director

Sat, June 23, 4PM
Library Auditorium

Saad Haddad is a composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electroacoustic music who achieves a “remarkable fusion of idioms” (The New York Times), most notably in his work exploring the disparate qualities inherent in Western art music and Middle Eastern musical tradition. Haddad holds degrees in composition from the Juilliard School and the University of Southern California, along with many notable distinctions. Azwaj translates to “pairs” in Arabic.

Experience new contemporary chamber music with works by Ethan Wickman, Chad Cannon, and Stephen Jones. Haddad’s new work “Azwaj” will also be premiered, as the winner of the 2018 Utah Arts Festival Chamber Ensemble Commission.

Program Notes: 

Azwaj, or “pairs” in Arabic, is an energetic, rhythmically charged depiction of three pairs of dissimilar instruments playing similar dance-like material together. In this work, these conjoined pairs are the flute and violin, clarinet and cello, and percussion and piano. The woodwinds and strings are mostly confined to roving scales based on the maqamat (Arab modes), which contain an abundant use of “quarter-tones,” the pitches that lie halfway between the“black” and “white” keys. The pairing of the percussion and piano makes use of a specific preparation involving tambourine cymbals. These small cymbals, when removed from their normal apparatus as part of the tambourine, are used to create entirely different, unusual sounds when employed in the context of this ensemble.