Counting Sheep

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Imagine playing a melody with one note and then, with each consecutive repetition, adding an additional note until you reach the melody’s 65-note culmination. Then imagine doing that in unison, in a large ensemble and at breakneck speed. This is what you have in Frederick Rzewski’s Les Moutons de Panurge, the title based on the cautionary tale of Panurge's sheep who follow each other blindly off the side of a ship thanks to the con-artistry of one of the shipmates. In performance, it’s inevitable that some of the musicians “fall off” the theme of this tricky piece by a composer known for embedding political messages in his works. Also tonight, music of Marcelo Zarvos and Paul Hindemith .

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