This Pick of the Week brings you the second set of performances of The Boccaccio Project. Concerts from the Library of Congress developed The Boccaccio Project to provide some artistic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten composers were commissioned to write brief solo works, with the remotely recorded pieces to be premiered online this month. We hope you enjoy it!
Composer Cliff Eidelman collaborated with pianist Jenny Lin in a new work for solo piano, entitled Bridges.
About the work: In the spirit of "The Boccaccio Project,” I reflected on the times we are all collectively living through and with this music, I found myself yearning toward a day when the world could all cross the bridge back into life. “Bridges" went through several incarnations before I started to see the shape and the themes more clearly. I wanted to create a piano work worthy of virtuoso Jenny Lin and that is partly what kept me going back to the drawing board. After trying so many possibilities, the piece took shape. Upon finishing, I looked back on it and realized that the work crossed over 4 bridges into different contrasting scenes to be interpreted by the listener. ~ Cliff Eidelman
Composer Erin Rogers collaborated with flutist Erin Lesser of the Wet Ink Ensemble in a new work for solo flute, entitled Hello World.
About the work: Orbiting a sonic portal to the outer world, a flutist self-arranges within a mirrored video frame. The face-to-face encounter sets the scene for introduction, reintroduction, and exploration. ~ Erin Rogers
Composer Luciano Chessa collaborated with violist Charlton Lee of the Del Sol Quartet in a new work for solo viola, entitled 1462 Willard Street.
About the work: Written for Charlton Lee, a fearless performer I much admire, "1462 Willard Street" is a piece for unaccompanied viola. 1462 Willard Street is the address of a hilltop San Francisco house I was visiting when, on March 16, 2020, the City of San Francisco lowered the boom with a shelter-in-place order to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. What was supposed to be a pleasant, week-long California visit bizarrely lasted two full months. My flagging spirits, a result of uncertainty, fear, and dread, were lifted by daily meals and storytelling sessions with my two hosts John and Zane; heartfelt telephone calls to my anguished parents in Italy; as well as to friends throughout a dislocated world. “1462 Willard Street” reflects the emotions of this lockdown, expressed through a counterpoint, often found in my music, of sweetness and grit. May this piece then capture my days in isolation. May it recall our storytelling and the endless strands of pleasure that resulted. And may the kindness of the two angels who sheltered me always be remembered. ~ Luciano Chessa