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Bryce Dessner

Publisher: Chester Music

Murder Ballades (2013)
Work Notes
Available for performances after April 2015 for the world excluding Australia where it is available after January 2016
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Purchase CD
Programme Note
Bryce Dessner Murder Ballades (2013)
Commissioned by eighth blackbird and Lunapark and funded by The Doelen Concert Hall, Rotterdam, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, and Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven, with the financial support of The Van Beinum Foundation, The Netherlands

Preview the score

  • 27 JUL 2019
    White Recital Hall UMKC, Kansas City, MO
    Summerfest Chamber Music Ensemble

    Other Dates:
    28 July - St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Kansas City, MO

Murder Ballades by composer and guitarist Bryce Dessner was inspired by folk songs about real and imagined killings from America’s early settlement. Dessner takes the song’s melodic material as a starting point, wrapping it in evocative accompaniments to create a highly charged atmosphere. With the use of inside piano techniques, wailing string glissandos, stamping chords and other effects, he crafts a wonderfully imaginative sound palette. Brushy Fork, a Civil War fiddle tune, brought the house down with its driving rhythm and foot-stomping jollity.
Mark Coughlan, The Weekend Australian,23/02/2017
Murder Ballads from 'star of the New York City Ballet' Justin Peck accompanied by music from Bryce Dessner, composer and guitarist known for his work in rock band The National, is easy on the eye and ear, a mix of old and new. American folk tradition replicated in modern style- Agnes de Mille, Aaron Copland, wide-open Oklahoma prairie lands occupy my imagination.
Vera Liber, British Theatre Guide,04/10/2013
Bryce Dessner's fascinating score is based on American ballads about murder, and I saw choreography of buoyant energy, with gesture sweetly and skilfully set within movement, which sailed along with its music, lived in it, and engaged its cast in actions that sat happily, flatteringly on their bodies, and bothered not at all with a carrier-pigeon task as "messenger".
Clement Crisp, Financial Times,04/10/2013
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