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Video of the Week:

Spins and Spells from a Staunton Gallery
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“The sonority of Spins and Spells reminds me of the music and the instrumental colors of another age, far older than those of the cello that we know, although seen and transformed again through my own universe,” notes contemporary Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho about her complex, challenging, and captivating piece for solo cello. 

Against the backdrop of a gallery exhibit at the Staunton Augusta Art CenterHeifetz Ensemble in Residence [HEIR] cellist Coleman Itzkoff provied more than equal to challenge, offering a breathtaking performance of of this modernist masterwork composed in 1996. Worth a view or two, and we’re proud to share it with you! 

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.  In the words of the composer, “The title [Spins and Spells] evokes the two gestures which are at the origin of the work: on the one hand the pattern which I call ‘spinning tops’ turning around on the one spot or undergoing changes, and on the other, timeless moments, centered on the sound color and texture.”

Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg

The first page of the score to Spins and Spells. 

PS –  We’re so inpsired by the marriage of music and visual art that we’re going to launch a whole new Heifetz series at the SAAC Gallery as part of our 2021 Festival of Concerts titled Fridays at The Gallery. 

PPS – And if you’re in the area or planning to visit,  be sure to check out Music & Miniatures of Note In The Valley – a whimsical pairing of the region’s musical stories with miniature scenes from the Valley’s past, including the Heifetz Institute’s vintage Putnam organ (manufactured in Staunton) that was the feature of another recent Video of the Week. The exhibit will be open through September 6 at the SAAC’s  The R.R. Smith Center for History and Art headquarters in historic downtown Staunton.