Ciompi Quartet - David Lipten: Best Served Cold


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    David Lipten: Best Served Cold Ablaze Records

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Review Text David Lipten's music has been described as possessing 'a strength and integrity...along with a deep [and]...rigorous musical lyricism.' His compositions have been performed by some of the most accomplished chamber ensembles, including the New York New Music Ensemble and the Chester Quartet, among others. Recent performances of his music have included a number of his piano works Best Served Cold, Snap and Ever Since, three of Time's Dream for chorus, as well as one of Ictus for string quartet at the Portland Chamber Music Festival where it was awarded first prize in 3rd Annual Composers Competition. David has received a number of commissions including those from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, the Verdehr Trio/Michigan State University and Duo46; awards, fellowships and grants from the St. Paul's Chamber Music Competition, ASCAP, the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), the State of Florida and Duke University, also among others. He has also been in residence at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies, as well as the Aspen Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, the CSU Summer Arts Festival and the June in Buffalo Composers Conference. David holds a B.A. in Piano Performance from Hampshire College, a M.A. in Music Composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music at the City University of New York/Queens College and a Ph.D. in Music Composition from Duke University. He currently lives and works in Florida with his wife, Holly, and daughter, Olivia. Ictus (2000-2001)-for string quartet The sense and form of Ictus depend on the ways previously established material is altered, either through changes of speed and/or the ways in which the music is accented (similar to the ways in which different syllables are stressed in poetry-or it's Ictus) and how it's colored by using a wide variety of bowings and/or articulations. The Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University commissioned the quartet in 1999-2000. It was premiered in September of 2001 by the Chester Quartet and performed by them on two other occasions. The Perugino Quartet also played the piece in 2005. Sunghae Anna Lim and Joan Kwoun (vlns.), Maria Lambros (vla.) and Andrew Mark (vc.) performed Ictus in Maine at the Portland Chamber Music Festival. Show of Hands-for piano 1. Best Served Cold (2003) I wrote Best Served Cold while in residence at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH in 2003. It was the dead of winter and magnificently serene for much of the time. Nothing about the character of this short, sometimes violent piece, then, can be attributed to my surroundings. My time at the colony also happened to coincide with the build-up to the mess in Iraq. I spent some of my downtime listening to the fabrications presented to the United Nations by a certain former Secretary of State for what turned out to be some of the pretense for the situation. We all knew what was coming. I was outraged. The title is borrowed from 'Les Liasons Dangereuses' (1782) by Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderios de LaClos. However, my original acquaintance with it came from either Mr. Worf, a Klingon character in Star Trek, or from Montgomery Burns, Homer Simpson's evil boss; I'm not sure which. This piece was commissioned by Christopher Adler and premiered by him in October 2003. 2. Ever Since (2004) Ever Since is the second work in a series of short character pieces I began writing for piano in the winter of 2003. The first (Best Served Cold) is quite fiery, so I wanted to write something more introspective as a contrast. It's impromptu nature is attributable to improvising much of the initial ideas for it at the piano. 3. Snap (2005) The title refers to the rather break-neck pace at which the music is intended to proceed. The tempo marking calls for it to be played at a speed which is 'as fast as humanly possible.' The piece primarily features quick, repeated single notes connected by short, jagged bursts or runs leading to passages of climactic chords. These so

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