Jacob Greenberg and Reinier van Houdt at Spectrum, March 25, 2014
The New York Times, March 27, 2014
Two separate recitals by brilliant pianists heard most frequently in group settings: Jacob Greenberg with the International Contemporary Ensemble, and Reinier van Houdt in the Ives Ensemble and Ensemble MAE (which, I learned at length, was once bassist Maarten Altena's band).
One remarkably broad span of avant-garde piano, from Ludwig van Beethoven to Michael Pisaro. The playing was brilliant, the instrument outstanding, and I've never heard a better mix of piano, electronics and amplification than during van Houdt's program, the Pisaro and Luc Ferrari pieces in particular.
Two subsequent revelations: Via Facebook, I learned that the Alvin Curran piece that ended van Houdt's second set was in fact discreetly amplified, something that evidently neither I nor van Houdt noticed, so subtly was it enacted. And via email, I learned that Greenberg's rendition of Helmut Lachenmann's treacherous Serynade was his first public performance of the work. Look forward to more chances to hear it, and to hear it grow in Greenberg's hands.