Jazz, Mr. Schoenberg?

Detail of J.R. Europe's Castle House Rag, courtesy NY Public Library

David Schiff’s Class of 1915 is a new work for Pierrot Ensemble instrumentation (Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Piano) written in celebration of the dual centenaries of Reed College and Pierrot Lunaire, marked with a performance by Chamber Music Northwest on Feb. 10, 2012. Though the work shares the same instrumentation as Arnold Schoenberg’s famous piece which gave rise to the popularity of this ensemble configuration, the similarities fairly well end there. Mr. Schiff reworks the popular song and dance styles from the mid-1910’s into a suite which pays tribute to the influence of black composers of the day, including James Reese Europe, W.C. Handy, C. Luckyeth Roberts, Shelton Brooks, Chirs Smith and Will Vodery. Class of 1915 is an ideal opener/ closer for Pierrot programs; stay tuned for more publication details to be announced in the coming days. Meanwhile, we invite you to peruse the digital score and audio sample available on our downloads page. For more information, please write to Info.