Performances: (11/26/09) Sharon Robinson & Joseph Kalichstein at the 92nd St. YMHA in New York, 2005, K. Pinoci and E. Held, UUCMC Performing Arts Series, New Jersey, 2005, Sharon Robinson & Reiko Uchida, Honest Brook Festival, Delhi, NY , 2005
Sharon Robinson has continued to play El Andalus and use it with students at Indiana.
Publishing: Papagena Press, distributed by Theodore Presser company.
CD: Koch (Sharon Robinson and Joseph Kalichstein) (CD set of American works).
The composer writes: El Andalus is the Arabic name for Andalusia, an area of Spain with an unusual history. For several hundred years in the Middle Ages under the Muslim caliphate, it was a center of great learning and culture, and a gathering place for Christian, Jewish, and Muslim intelligentsia of Europe and the Middle East. Sharon Robinson, having seen an article about this, asked if I might somehow imagine a piece about this center of tolerance and light. After considerable perplexity, I decided to look into music of each religious tradition. Traditional Arabic music, both secular and religious, is a sophisticated art form which is mostly improvised on involved scalar and formal patterns. It makes use of quarter tones, as well as modal materials more familiar to the western ear. Its influence is clear in Jewish liturgical music, and also in some Eastern Orthodox Christian music. I combined some of this kind of melodic material with sections that employ western harmonies, and there are rhythmic and formal influences from both traditions. There are also timbral sounds that have their origin in eastern instruments. The piece begins with a snippet of Gregorian chant and quickly moves into material with roots in both east and west. I dedicate the work to Sharon Robinson, a truly great cellist and musician, and the work’s inspiration
Sponsored by: Paul and Dorothy Olson