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Work of the Week – Ryan Wigglesworth: Études-Tableaux

On 16 January, Ryan Wigglesworth’s new orchestral work Études-Tableaux will have its world premiere performance at Severance Hall in Cleveland. Franz Welser-Möst will conduct the Cleveland Orchestra where Wigglesworth currently holds the position of Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow. The concert, which concludes with Mahler’s 6th Symphony, will receive a second performance on 17 January.

Wigglesworth drew inspiration for Études-Tableaux from aspects of material first conceived in 2009, redeveloping fragments from the original music in this new work. Throughout, Wigglesworth allows melodic and harmonic ideas to migrate and transform freely between sections. The central section is made up of several smaller episodes, all fast in tempo and crosscutting with a greater frequency. It is framed by chorale-like parts, a clarinet solo and sections that contrast slow with fast tempi.

My intention was to forge from these discrete panels a single arch-like shape, each section flowing into the next (sometimes with bridging material, sometimes not) without any hiatus. – Ryan Wigglesworth

The collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra, commissioners of the new work, was made possible by the Young Composers Endowment Fund which previously supported Jörg Widmann during the 2010-11 season. The UK premiere of Études-Tableaux will take place on 6 February at London’s Barbican Hall, conducted by Wigglesworth.