Memoria Nova Ensemble

April 28, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave
Chicago IL 60605
Memoria Nova Ensemble @ PianoForte Studios

Memoria Nova Ensemble: Musical Offering

Shanna Gutierrez, flutes

Tara Lynn Ramsey, violin, viola

Andrew Rosenblum, keyboards


Promenades for Flute, Violin, and Harpsichord Bohuslav Martinu
Ballata “Resveilles vous” Guillaume Dufay
Reyem Ralph Shapey
Trio for Flute, Violin, and Harp (arr. piano) Henry Cowell
Pieces de Clavecin en Concert, Cinquième Concert Jean-Philippe Rameau


Memoria Nova Ensemble’s debut program, A Musical Offering, explores historical time and concepts of newness and tradition. Memoria Nova Ensemble boldly makes the assertion that music is more like music, drawing listeners’ ears to the similarities and connections across time that unify the art form as a whole.

Both the Martinů and Cowell trios are neo-Baroque works from the first half of the twentieth century that pay homage, both in instrumentation and musical form, to the baroque trio sonata, of which the Rameau Concert No. 5 is a prime example. In contrast to the harpsichord’s traditional role as a supporting continuo instrument, Rameau features it as the soloist in the ensemble with virtuoso obbligato parts. Working within a framework of traditional concepts of counterpoint, motivic development, and classical form, Ralph Shapey pushes rhythm and harmony to their most modernist limits.

In Reyem: A Musical Offering, written for the occasion of Leonard Meyer’s fiftieth birthday, Shapey juxtaposes two different concepts of time in counterpoint with each other – one of highly structured polyrhythmic events, and one of a meterless and gestural nature. In Resvellies Vous, Dufay uses a variety of numerical techniques, such as gematria and the golden section ratio, to encode messages about the marriage of Carlo Malatesta and Vittoria di Lorenzo Colonna. Although separated by almost 550 years, Resvellies Vous and Reyem share many connections, including their exploration of complex ratio relationships and prioritization of linear counterpoint over the use of harmonic syntax as a way of constructing vertical sonorities.


Memoria Nova means new memory, or new history. By programming less frequently performed works from across the spectrum of musical history, we encourage the listener to form a new memory of musical history, one that does not center on a structured narrative that leads from one masterpiece in the canon to the next, but rather on an exploration of musical styles which continuously cycles between bursts of newness and a return to a more familiar state. Memorial Nova is comprised of some of Chicago’s most celebrated chamber musicians: Shanna Gutierrez, flute; Tara Lynn Ramsey, violin/viola; and Andrew Rosenblum,  keyboards.