AUDIO FLASHBACK: Edgard Varèse’s Hyperprism

This week’s Audio Flashback is the piece Hyperprism from French composer Edgard Varèse, which premiered in New York City 98 years ago this week, and which The Orchestra Now performed with conductor Leon Botstein in a streaming concert from the Fisher Center at Bard this past November. In his concert notes, TŌN horn player Steven Harmon says, “Hyperprism is one of a handful of Varèse’s most influential works, all written in a period between 1921 and 1925, all of which contributed to a notoriety comparable to that of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. In just a handful of scores, most of them lasting only a few minutes, Varèse elevated rhythm to a new prominence, granted percussion instruments a role of unforeseen importance (and complexity), and developed a new sound world, dependent not on melody and harmony, but on timbre, texture, and dynamics.” You can read his full notes on the piece by clicking here.