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Third Angle New Music to host Bloch party

Third Angle New Music reschedules concert for this Sunday, Feb. 23


Snowpocalypse 2014 led to a lot of events being canceled, including Third Angle New Music String Quartet’s Feb. 4 concert at St. Aidan Episcopal Church, 1705 N.E. Glisan St.

However, ticket holders can catch the rescheduled show at 4 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 23, in the same location.

Tickets are available at the door and cost $20 for general admission, $18 for students and seniors.

Fans of composer — and late Oregon resident — Ernest Bloch will want to see this performance, which combines Third Angle’s renditions of the Swiss-born composer’s music with a multimedia show featuring photographs Bloch took of his travels all over the world as well as video interviews of family members and audiotapes of Bloch lecturing on music.by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Third Angle New Music Quartet has been critically acclaimed for its innovative interpretations of various composers music.

Third Angle consists of Ron Blessinger and Greg Ewer on violin, Charles Noble on viola and Marilyn DeOliveira on cello. Blessinger, the quartet’s artistic director, says the show represents a musical summit of sorts.

“We’re being asked to play some of the hardest music ever written, but we’re up to the challenge and having a blast,” Blessinger says. “Bloch was a string player, and not shy about asking a lot of those who play his music. It’s technically very difficult stuff, dense in texture, especially his later work.”

Blessinger adds the show offers an entree into the mind and heart of Bloch because it features recordings of him talking about French composer Claude Debussy’s music.

“You hear the intensity of his voice,” Blessinger says. “It really personalizes it in a great way. The sound of his voice enriches our experience of hearing his music.”by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The words, music and photographs of Ernest Bloch will be celebrated in a multi-media concert Feb. 23 at St. Aidan Episcopal Church in Gresham.

Bloch, who became a U.S. citizen in 1924, moved to the coastal community of Agate Beach in Lincoln County in 1941. His compositions incorporated elements of Jewish, Swiss and Native American music, Blessinger says, adding Sunday’s program will feature movements from “Quartet II,” “III” and “V,” all composed in Oregon.

“They’re all stylistically advanced,” Blessinger says, noting Bloch was influenced by Debussy, with whom he was friends, as well as George Gershwin. “He tries to push his harmony to the breaking point. It’s rhythmic, and it’s very virtuosic. While it was Schoenberg who drove the stake in the heart of traditional tonality, artists like Bloch could never fully break free of tonality’s grasp, though he tried very hard to do so.”

The concert will include a performance of two movements from Bach’s “Art of Fugue.”

“Bloch’s connection to Bach’s music is very clear,” Blessinger says, noting Bloch talks about how his musical process is similar to the way a plant grows. “The idea that a seed, or musical idea, can sprout, find its form in a natural process and still retain its identity and uniqueness is a musical philosophy that Bloch shared with Bach.”

Since 1985, Third Angle has presented more than 90 programs of contemporary music, commissioned more than 25 new works and released nine recordings to critical acclaim.

For more information, visit thirdangle.org.




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