On programming...

One of the questions we are frequently asked is, "How do you choose which music you play?" The truth is that we program collaboratively, with everyone being welcome to give their input. We take into account musical compatibility, potential connections between pieces, availability of soloists, and yes even the extra costs associated with choosing certain music. Words and the Night is a great example of the kind of open-minded, thought-provoking program which can result when musicians put their heads together. In this case, Megumi suggested Shoenberg's Verklarte Nacht, a masterpiece with strong connections to poetry and the night. Next, yours truly suggested 16th-century madrigals, in particular Gesualdo to pair musically and poetically with the Schoenberg. Then Jason bounced us back to the 20th century, suggesting Britten's Lachrymae with Roger Tapping, which just so happens to be based on 16th-century songs by Dowland. Finally, Jae found the perfect opener, a wonderful divertimento by Mozart, which pairs exquisitely with 16th-century motets by Palestrina. No single person was in charge. There were many false starts and dead-end ideas, but a truly collaborative solution finally presented itself, and the whole proved to much greater than the sum of the parts. That's A Far Cry in a nutshell.