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Bryce Dessner

Publisher: Chester Music

Tuusula (2016)
Work Notes
Commissioned by Meidän Festivaali, Sounds from a Safe Harbour, and National Sawdust.
Publisher
Chester Music Ltd
Category
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
2016
Duration
10 Minutes
Orchestration
Availability


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Programme Note
Bryce Dessner Tuusula (2016)
I composed this solo work for cellist Nicolas Altstaedt two summers ago when I was composer in residence at Pekka Kuusisto’s beautiful chamber music festival, Meidän Festivaali, in Sibelius’s hometown of Tuusula. Tuusula is small lake town about 40 minutes from Helsinki, and was a haven for composers and painters in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The place remains untouched by development with all the original houses standing as they were. Sibelius’s beautiful house, Ainola, is now a museum, and Pekka’s small festival is held next door in a set of cabins and wooden performance spaces that date from the same era. I was inspired by Pekka’s amazing ability to bring together artists from disparate backgrounds, including some of Europe’s finest chamber musicians, as well as a deeply original mix of repertoire—old music and new music without prejudice to either—and with audiences seemingly willing to follow him in any direction. The place itself, the woods and water and light, inspired me to write this cello solo for Nicolas, which was not planned as part of the festival. I would write a bit of the piece every day, which accounts for its improvisatory feeling, and at the end of the week Nicolas premiered it in a chapel on the edge of the lake where Sibelius was baptized. Afterwards, the three of us rowed a wooden boat across the lake and had a sauna. According to Pekka, this is not an entirely uncommon occurrence in Finland.

—Bryce Dessner

Performances
Date
Title
  • 06 DEC 2017
    Evolution Contemporary Music Series
    An die Musik, Baltimore, MD
    Judah Adashi, artistic director
  • 26 APR 2017
    Tuusula
    No Uncertain Terms World Premiere
    Skrik Trio World Premiere
    Three Generations
    Carnegie Hall, New York, US
    Pekka Kuusisto, violin; Nadia Sirota, viola; Nicolas Altstaedt, cello; Adam Marks, piano; Nico Muhly, piano; Chris Thompson, percussion
  • 06 APR 2017
    Three Generations
    Zankel Hall,New York, NY
    Bang on a Can All-Stars
  • 01 APR 2017
    Tuusula London Premiere
    King's Place, London
    Nicolas Altstaedt, cello
  • 18 OCT 2016
    Leipzig, Germany
    MDR Sinfonieorchester
    Nicolas Altstaedt, Cello; Bryce Dessner and Aart Strootman, E-Guitars; Kristjan Järvi, conductor
  • 14 MAY 2016
    Murder Ballades
    Garcia Counterpoint
    El Chan European Premiere
    Tenebre
    Tuusula European Premiere
    Bryce Dessner Festival
    Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, Netherlands
    Nicolas Altstaedt and Bryce Dessner
  • 05 FEB 2016
    National Sawdust Williamsburg, Brooklyn New York, U.S.A.
    Jeffrey Zeigler, cello
  • 23 JAN 2016
    Tuusula New York Premiere
    National Sawdust, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
    Jeffrey Zeigler, cello
  • 12 SEP 2015
    Tuusula World Premiere
    Sounds from a Safe Harbour
    Lismore Castle, County Waterford, Ireland
    Kate Ellis

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