James Paul Sain, composer


Featuring guest composer James Paul Sain

The Center for New Music Ensemble

Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 7:30p in the Concert Hall






Beltà, poi che t'assenti (1611)

Carlo Gesualdo (1566–1613) [arr. Gompper]

Musica segreta (2006)

David GOMPPER (b.1954)

Luciana Hontila, violin
Donghee Han, viola
Sarah Hansen, violoncello
David Gompper, piano
Zach Stanton, conductor


Palimpseste (third version) (2002)

Marc-Andre DALBAVIE (b.1961)

Alexis Letourneau, flute
Ana Maria Locke, clarinet
Karina Glasinovic, piano
Luciana Hontila, violin
Donghee Han, viola
Sarah Hansen, violoncello
David Gompper, conductor



–––   Intermission   –––



Polestar (2017)

    I. Calmly
   II. Angular
  III. Freely

James Paul SAIN (b.1959)

Kim Cassisa, clarinet
Karina Glasinovic, piano


Endopsychosis (2019) premiere

    I. Schizophrenia (attacca)
   II. Delusional Disorder (attacca)
  III. Paraphrenia-Coda


Alexis Letourneauflute (picc)
Jenna Sehmann, oboe
Ana Maria Locke, clarinet (A)
Shawn Seguin, bassoon
Irene Tang, horn
Ciarra Krist, trumpet (C)
Tom Kelley, trombone
Peter Naughton, percussion
Matt Anderson, percussion
Karina Glasinovic, piano
Luciana Hontila, violin I
Joshua Palazzolo, violin II
Donghee Han, viola
Sarah Hansen, violoncello
Will Yager, double bass
David Gompper, conductor




 Program Notes


 Carlo Gesualdo

      Tristis est anima mea
           The secular madrigal Beltà, poi che t’assenti is published in the sixth book of Madrigals (1611) by Carlo Gesualdo.
           Beltà poi che t’assenti
Come ne porti il cor
Porta i tormenti.
Ché tormentato cor
può ben sentire
La doglia del morire,
E un alma senza core,
Non può sentir dolore.
   Beauty, since you depart,
as you take my heart,
take also my torments.
For a tormented heart
can surely feel
the pain of death,
but a soul without a heart
can feel no sorrow.
       (translated James Gibb)
CarloGesualdo, composer

Carlo Gesualdo, principe di Venosa, conte di Conza, (born March 30, 1566, Venosa [Italy]—died September 8, 1613, Gesualdo), Italian composer and lutenist. Until the late 20th century his fame rested chiefly on his dramatic, unhappy, and often bizarre life. Since the late 20th century, however, his reputation as a musician has grown, based on his highly individual and richly chromatic madrigals…. He is especially noted for what music scholar Glenn Watkins called the “dazzling harmonic style” of his last two books of madrigals ….
       Gesualdo was much interested in the widespread musical reputation of the Este court in Ferrara. In 1594 he traveled there as a composer and musician and … found the atmosphere of the Este court and his proximity to several of the leading composers of the day quite stimulating. His first two books of madrigals were published by the Ferrarese ducal press in 1594. His third book of madrigals was first published by the ducal press in 1595 and the fourth in 1596, both apparently written largely during his time in Ferrara and both showing signs of the development of his personal vision ….
In 1603 Gesualdo published two sacred motet collections. Gesualdo’s last two books of madrigals (as well as a Holy Week Responsoria) were published in 1611. Although these last two books of madrigals were long considered “late” works because of their dramatic exclamations, linearly driven chromaticism, discontinuous texture, and harmonic license—that is, their generally unusual and experimental nature—Gesualdo himself claimed that they had in fact been written in the mid-to-late 1590s, near the time of his other published madrigals, and that he had been forced to publish accurate copies because inaccurate copies had been printed and some work plagiarized. —Encyclopædia Britannica, Kathleen Kuiper


David Gompper

      Musica Segreta
           Musica Segreta, composed in 2006, is a revision of Quartet originally composed in 1996. The work makes use of a hexachord, extracted from the seven-note set found in Boulez's '...explosante-fixe...' which was written to the memory of Igor Stravinsky. This symmetrical hexachord defines two tonal regions: A proceeding to E-flat. In order to help myself expand the tonal possibilities for the work, I created a three-dimensional cube. On each surface I wrote out three sets of pairings of the hexachord starting on A, C, and C-sharp. The eight corners of the cube suggested a collection eight principal sonorities, heard in the piano at the beginning. By rotating the cube, I was able to create many of the linear and vertical pitch collections. The idea of Stravinsky's rotations is very much evident.
       Finally, I take Gesualdo's Beltà, poi che t'assenti from his collection of Madrigals, Book VI (which, incidentally, appears as the third movement of Stravinsky's Monumentum pro Gesualdo, 1960), re-voice the first phrase and place it in the strings at the coda, above a piano ostinato. This phrase also moves from A to E-flat, creating a connection with the Boulez hexachord.
This work was written for a concert in honor of Glenn Watkins upon his retirement from the University of Michigan in 1996 (revised in 2006), and dedicated to him. He is the author of Gesualdo: The man and his music, for which Stravinsky wrote the preface. Hence the quartet of characters: Boulez, Stravinsky, Gesualdo, and Watkins.
David Gompper, composer

       David Gompper has lived and worked professionally as a pianist, a conductor, and a composer in New York, San Diego, London, Nigeria, Michigan, Texas and Iowa. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Jeremy Dale Roberts and Humphrey Searle. After teaching in Nigeria, he received his doctorate at the University of Michigan and taught at the University of Texas, Arlington. Since 1991, he has been Professor of Composition and Director of the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa. In 2002-2003 Gompper was in Russia as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching, performing and conducting at the Moscow Conservatory. In 2009 he received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City, and a Fromm Commission in 2013.
       Gompper's compositions have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Merkin Halls (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), Konzerthaus (Vienna) and the Bolshoi and Rachmaninoff Halls (Moscow Conservatory). For the Naxos label, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra recorded his Violin Concerto with Wolfgang David, and two new discs of works that include four concerti (Double, Clarinet, Cello and Double Bass), as well as three orchestral works.


Marc-Andre Dalbavie

           It was after reading E T A Hoffman’s unfinished novel, Murr the Tom-Cat’s Philosophy of Life, together with a Fragmentary Biography of Kappellmeister Johannes Kreisler on Odd Sheets of Waste Paper (1820-22), that I had the idea for Palimpseste. The cat belonging to the musician Kreisler decides to write his memoirs but, as he has no paper to write on, he uses the pages from an already existing book. The book that these pages belong to is a biography of Kreisler. Hoffman’s novel oscillates between the two texts about the same person.
Palimpseste (a word which describes the method of writing on used parchment but where the original text has been erased) is built upon a work by Gesualdo (16th century): the 11th madrigal from the 6th book Beltà, poiche t’assenti. The two pieces superimpose themselves upon each other and transform each other.
The two spaces occupied by the strings and the wind instruments in Palimpseste represent the two texts in Hoffman’s novel. And just as the ‘life of Kreisler’ is derived from Hoffman’s earlier Kreisleriana which would later inspire Robert Schumann, so the Gesualdo madrigal has inspired another work: the third movement of Stravinsky’s Monumentum. —Marc-André Dalbavie
Marc-Andre Dalbavie, composer

Composer Marc-André Dalbavie was born in 1961. After studying at the Paris Conservatory (1980-86) where he received several first prizes, he spent five years as part of the musical research department at IRCAM from 1987 to 1988, he studied conducting with Pierre Boulez. He is currently professor of orchestration at the Paris Conservatory, and composer in residence with the Cleveland Orchestra.
       Starting in 1982, he and other composers of his generation became interested in the potentials of spectral music, particularly those offered by timbre and processing. He enhanced these techniques with polyphonic and rhythmic techniques (speed, metrics...), also developing formal principles of recurrence, integrating heterogeneous and spatial phenomena through his usage of electronics, as well as employing music and acoustic computer programs.
      If, for him, the eighties were devoted to timbre and color (Miroirs transparents, Diadèmes...), the nineties would be devoted to space and location. The composer feels strongly about applying the concept of work in situ to musical creation, thus demonstrating the possibilities offered by the spacialization generated by orchestral composition. In Seuils, the electronic equipment is installed around the audience and the poetic text that is used makes reference to the space in which it intervenes. The use of baroque instruments links the Concertino with a 17th century piece (Curtain Tune by M. Locke). L'Offertoire for men's choir and symphony orchestra suggests virtual spaces simulated by the choral writing. In Concerto pour violon, one section of the orchestra is installed around the audience, breaking down the standard frontal concert orientation, thus redefining the very idea of a concerto. Lastly, in Non-Lieu composed with writer Guy Lelong, the stage is completely empty and the 4 women's choirs, as well as the instrumental ensemble, are distributed in the hall around the audience.
       The music of Marc-André Dalbavie is published by Editions Jobert.


James Paul Sain

           Polestar is another name for the star Polaris. It is also a principle that attracts someone or something to another. This duo for clarinet and piano has been a while in the making, acting as an attractor for the composer to return to his roots as a classically trained composer of acoustic music. Polestar is dedicated to my colleague and friend, renowned clarinetist Mitchell Estrin.   
           Endopsychosis is the “spiritual” state in which psychoses are exhibited without the traditional symptoms of the disorder.
The single movement work encompasses three sections: Schizophrenia, Delusional Disorder, and Paraphrenia, followed by a codetta. The three sections of the work are each based on four different hexachords comprised substantially of cluster triads presented in various contexts and orchestrations. The codetta presents the previous musical material reconciled in the final diverging 12 hexacordal chorale.
During the past year the composer has journeyed with two of his extended family members as they proceeded along the Alzheimer’s progression. Their struggles with memory and perception of reality informs the musical journey of Endopyschosis. This work is dedicated to loved ones struggling with physical and/or mental disease.
James Paul Sain, composer

James Paul Sain is Professor of Music at the University of Florida where he has taught acoustic and electroacoustic music composition, theory, and technology for 28 years. He founded and directed the internationally acclaimed Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival for 17 years. Sain is responsible for programming over 1700 works of contemporary art music. His compositional oeuvre spans all major acoustic ensembles, instrumental and vocal soloists, and has embraced electroacoustic music. His works have been featured at major national and international societal events. He has presented his music in concert and given lectures in Asia, Europe, South America and North America. Dr. Sain is President Emeritus of the Society of Composers Inc. He previously served for several terms on American Composers Alliance Board of Governors. His music is available in print from Brazinmusikanta and American Composers Editions and on CD on the Capstone, Electronic Music Foundation, Innova, University of Lanús, Mark Masters, Albany and NACUSA labels.