Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's an Ars Nova?

This blog is dedicated to covering the Dallas Festival of Modern Music and its Ensemble-in-Residence, Ars Nova Dallas. But what is ars nova?

Ars nova was a stylistic period in music of the Late Middle Ages, centered in France, which encompassed the period roughly from the preparation of the Roman de Fauvel (1310 and 1314) until the death of Machaut (1377).

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music defines Ars nova Thusly:

(Latin). New art. The new style of mus. comp. in Fr. and It. in 14th cent. Name derived from tract (c.1320) by Philippe de Vitry. Restrictions of ars antiqua were replaced by greater variety of rhythm, duple instead of triple time, and increased independence in part-writing. In Fr. Machaut was finest exponent of ars nova and in Italy G. da Cascia, J. da Bologna, and Landini. The It. madrigal was a later flowering of ars nova.

Simply put, ars nova, is simply new art. Ars Nova Dallas, therefore, is an ensemble dedicated to presenting thrilling artistic experiences for audiences in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The ensemble will serve this function each fall as it offers performances for the Dallas Festival of Modern Music. This November 7-9, 2009, look for Ars Nova Dallas to perform at Highland Park Presbyterian Church and at a venue near you. Under the batons of conductors Jordan Smith and Ryan Ross, the musicians of Ars Nova Dallas will be performing works by Joan Tower and Barbara White. The ensemble will also be offering three encounters with the landmark Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schönberg with Soprano Jessica Abel performing the virtuosic Sprechstimme (speaking-song part).

Please stop by the festival website regularly for additional updates.

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