September 15, 2012: Music from Freud’s London at the Modern

click here to see the program

Sounds Modern invites you to experience a musical counterpart to the paintings of Lucian Freud at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. As Freud was reinventing the tradition of portraiture, a generation of English composers was also reinventing its relationship with tradition. At the heart of it was an ensemble, “The Fires of London,” formed by Peter Maxwell Davies and an eclectic group of composers and performers. Their concerts, like Freud’s paintings, brought together a celebration of modernist experimentation (they began as the “Pierrot Players,” performing Schoenberg’s expressionist masterpiece) and a renewed connection with music of the past. Lucian Freud commented that “The longer you look at something, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.” Composers Harrison Birtwistle, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Michael Finnissy took long looks at the historical past to find new abstractions and new realities. With their music, Sounds Modern brings a sonic dimension to the portraits of Lucian Freud. Admission is free and open to the public (museum admission is separate).