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The New York New Music Ensemble began with a bang literally This ensemble has been around for twenty-three years and it is considered to be the raising standard in contemporary chamber music On Thursday afternoon I saw the ensemble perform three pieces Trio Nutturno and Marxville Songbook These three possess very similar tone color and composition The ensembles first piece Trio was composed by Donald Martino This musician pursued his interest in music at a very young age By age fifteen he did not only know how to play various instruments but he also started composing Martino excelled as a member of American Academy of Arts and Letters and was rewarded scholarships In 1974 Martinos classic sextet Notturno won him the Pulitzer Prize in music In Notturno there are three large parts which could be described as movements that maintain the musics continuity Within these three movements there are nineteen smaller parts The first and last movements have nine parts that make up the contrasting sounds in the music The final movement concentrates more on the pitch transformation Structurally this format would be a recapitulation but the use of pitch transforms it into something new To emphasize the pitch fluctuation three different kinds of flutes were played Because of the pitch variation in this piece there were many melodies to follow In a way the music sounded like sound effects to a horror flick For example the tone color of the piece would be nice and calm then all of a sudden the percussion would contribute a crashing sound and disturb the quiet Towards the end of the piece the musicians tapped their instruments to add to the eerie atmosphere In comparison to Notturno Martinos Trio the first piece played still produced
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