Classical Playlist: Stephanie Blythe, Eva-Maria Houben, Nicholas Phillips and More
New York Times ArtsBeat, March 5, 2014
Classical Playlist: Stephanie Blythe, Eva-Maria Houben, Nicholas Phillips and More
New York Times ArtsBeat, March 5, 2014
The third and, for now, last next to last in a brief series, this post collects all of my writing for The New York Times between my report on the American Symphony Orchestra concert of November 17 and the collective article "Critics Weigh In on Standout Operas of Recent Decades," both of which I posted individually elsewhere. I'm including the "Classical Playlist" CD capsule-review posts that have been appearing on the paper's ArtsBeat blog, but I also intend to create a new landing page specifically to compile those reviews for easy access.
At this point, I intend (or at least hope) to present fresh reviews and articles as they appear…fingers crossed. As before, the first date refers to the event, the second to when the review appeared.
David Lang "New Voices, New Music" at Zankel Hall, November 20, 2013
November 25, 2013 (web-only)
Nicholas Deyoe’s “Lullaby 4,” played by the startlingly versatile gnarwhallaby, a California quartet in matching black outfits, murmured and pounced with the spontaneity of free improvisation, yet always conveyed the sense of a firm guiding hand.
Juilliard String Quartet at Alice Tully Hall, November 21, 2013
November 27, 2013
Paradoxically balancing thoroughgoing poise with an almost reckless edge, they expertly enacted visionary qualities intrinsic to late Schubert.
THOMAS: ‘Resounding Earth’
Third Coast Percussion
(New Focus Records)
EVA-MARIA HOUBEN: Piano Music
R. Andrew Lee, piano
Through his consistently impressive solo releases on the curiously named Irritable Hedgehog label, the Colorado-based pianist R. Andrew Lee has asserted a vision of musical Minimalism far broader than the limited patch that abused term usually signifies.
21c Liederabend at the BAM Harvey Theater, November 22, 2013
November 26, 2013
Despite a growth trajectory that has seen each successive 21c Liederabend housed in a larger space with more elaborate production elements, Ms. Morrison and Ms. Prestini preserved the sensation of a family affair…
…the group covers an admirably broad expressive range: from Alex Mincek’s rigorously calibrated violence to Felipe Lara’s voluptuous, elemental lyricism, by way of expressive contemplations from Wolfgang Rihm and David Brynjar Franzson.
In just eight minutes, this chamber orchestra work perfectly encapsulates her uncanny knack for conjuring the natural world — not through quaint, picturesque mimicry, but with potent evocations of elemental power, flux and potential.
…those qualities were enacted convincingly at the close of a brilliantly played, fervently felt account, enriched with silken strings, robust brass and eloquent solos by the principal winds and the concertmaster, Max Tan.
UnCaged Toy Piano Festival at Pianos, December 12, 2013
December 14, 2013
The spirits of John Cage and Charles M. Schulz’s Schroeder converged on the Lower East Side on Thursday night…
BEUGER: ‘Sixteen Stanzas on Stillness and Music Unheard’
Greg Stuart, vibraphone
‘DUETS FOR SOLO SNARE DRUM’
Nick Hennies, snare drum
Nick Hennies and Greg Stuart, percussion
…a ghostly, gorgeous lesson in how close, concentrated listening can alter and enhance perception.
Like Satie’s “Gymnopédies” as heard through a narcotic veil, the music stair-stepped and circled with melancholy deliberateness, slight disharmonies lending the sensation of cracked, yellowed photos.
‘FALSTAFF’ Herva Nelli, Teresa Stich-Randall, Giuseppe Valdengo; Arturo Toscanini, conductor; Robert Shaw Chorale, NBC Symphony Orchestra (RCA Gold Seal).
‘OTELLO’ Renata Scotto, Jon Vickers, Cornell MacNeil; James Levine, conductor; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Sony Classical, DVD).
‘LA TRAVIATA’ Maria Callas, Alfredo Kraus, Mario Sereni; Franco Ghione, conductor; Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon (Myto Records).
VERDI REQUIEM Anja Harteros, Sonia Ganassi, Rolando Villazón, René Pape; Antonio Pappano, conductor; Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus and Orchestra (EMI Classics).
‘RIGOLETTO’ (from “Verdi at the Met: Legendary Performances at the Metropolitan Opera”) Bidú Sayão, Jussi Bjoerling, Leonard Warren; Cesare Sodero, conductor; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Sony Classical).
True story: “Rigoletto” changed my life.
New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, December 28, 2013
December 30, 2013
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, titled “Pathétique” and completed in August 1893, is a beautiful time bomb with a faulty firing pin — or so it can seem, given the response its unorthodox construction almost inevitably compels.
The second in an occasional (though not occasional enough) series that started with a blog post in October, here's another omnibus entry covering all of my writing for The New York Times between the Bard Music Festival in mid-August and the New York Philharmonic concert of November 14, both blogged up individually elsewhere. The first date refers to the event, the second to publication.
Julianna Barwick at Judson Memorial Church, August 20, 2013
August 24, 2013
Ms. Barwick’s songs — chiefly wordless vocals, electronically looped — materialize out of ether, saturate a sonorous atmosphere, then dissolve. Environment trumps event.
Mr. Bell is easily taken for granted by classical music cognoscenti, not least because of his extra-musical celebrity. What other violinist would accept an invitation to judge the Miss America pageant?
The alternation of movements grew familiar, if never altogether comfortable. Great! Comfort, after all, is highly overrated.
Taka Kigawa at Le Poisson Rouge, August 26, 2013
August 28, 2013
…anyone can appreciate how the wonder and joy Mr. Kigawa conveys in talking about his repertory during a concert is also manifest in the way he performs it.
Fred Frith and Laurie Anderson at the Stone, August 27, 2013
August 30, 2013
…the first set on Tuesday, played for a capacity audience, was a textbook example of how free improvisation can provide common ground for musicians of wildly disparate styles and temperaments.
Mr. Dalachinsky, beholden to the Beats but seasoned by meaner times, recited with a jazz-horn flow. He rushed one phrase and elongated the next; occasionally he stuttered on a single syllable, and then released the pent-up tension in a gush.
…for plenty of players now swimming the city’s musical currents, DIY is already second nature. Case in point: Vicky Chow, the prodigious Canadian pianist currently embedded in the Bang on a Can All-Stars, de facto house band of the entrepreneurial revolution.
Object Collection "No Hotel" at St. Mark's Church, September 7, 2013
September 9, 2013
As Mr. Just’s music murmurs, natters and erupts into spasmodic punk-metal hammering, Mr. Glickstein, Mr. Nelson and Ms. Peker embrace, dance, exchange wigs, blurt non sequiturs and repeatedly murder one another.
Dedalus Ensemble at Roulette, September 9, 2013
September 11, 2013
Not every substantial American debut by an acclaimed European ensemble comes packaged with oversize fanfare, media hype and an obligatory guest appearance by Yo-Yo Ma.
"In 25 Years, Miller Theater Has Transformed the Arts Scene"
September 15, 2013
---> Web extra: "25 Years at Miller Theater"
"The more specialized the program, the more open it is to an outsider. If you go to a Monet retrospective, you come out, and you say: Hey, I love these pictures of Monet. I hate these. I love the lilies. I hate the lilies. You suddenly can say something, where before you were illiterate."
Each has developed strategies for creating music that is not only distinctive and individual but also intentionally and necessarily permeable to sensations from the everyday world.
Éliane Radigue/Xavier Veilhan "Systema Occam" at Florence Gould Hall, September 19; Charles Curtis at Issue Project Room, September 20; and Charles Curtis, Yoshi Wada and Pitreleh at Issue Project Room, September 21, 2013
Each deliberate stroke ignited a pale corona of resonating harmonics, offering a lambent glow akin to dust motes swirling in a pale beam of light.
Mr. Zorn’s language conjures Ligeti and Schoenberg, sure. But the essential DNA of "Contes de Fées," augmented with not just one but two wind machines, reaches back further, to Berlioz fever dreams and macabre showpieces by Saint-Saëns and Mussorgsky.
I’m not a big fan of gala opening nights, which tend to be all about fancy dress, floral arrangements, celebrity guests and a feel-good repertory that extends from canon fodder to bonbon.
…the chutzpah needed to envision Mr. Zorn presenting his music surrounded by some of the art that inspired him, and to facilitate an audience tramping after him during an otherwise typical Saturday, is something new for the institution.
You saw smokestacks, barnyards and big-city parades, with folks coifed in styles now seldom seen outside early Richard Linklater films and certain corners of Brooklyn.
…the music billowed and heaved fitfully, its bruised harmonies, obsessive repetitions and sudden, stark silences an almost shockingly intimate conjuring of the emotional intensity at play in the words.
…Ms. de la Salle offered freshness and lucidity in Debussy, her measured approach providing tantalizing whiffs of fragrance instead of heavy perfume.
Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, October 13, 2013
October 15, 2013
…Mr. Levine focused past Carter’s complexity to engage the drama and voluptuousness of this score, which for all its tangles and whorls contains not a single uninteresting or unlovely measure.
“I just thought, ‘So you can have it all,’ ” he said. “You can get me moving, and be playing some of the most profoundly well-organized music that humans could possibly imagine. It’s visceral, but everything’s in its right place.”
“Everything we do has a foundation,” he continued in that article. “I think the African phrases are very obvious. I think the funk phrases are very obvious. I think the Oriental phrases are obvious. I think the Bulgarian rhythms are there — I hear all of it.”
Coming out was not an easy prospect for Mr. Blier. “The idea that Ned had written a song about my river, and that he shared my secret, was huge for me,” he said.
“What I found is that there are so many similarities between filmmaking and composing: the way you handle time, the way you handle phrasing, the editing of the film,” he said.
…the provocative force of “War Sum Up” is in the ambiguity of its message and the allure of its high-gloss finish. If only more New Yorkers could have seen it.
Presented with the same speculative exercise in summarizing “Frau,” Ms. Goerke laughed heartily. “Somebody said, ‘In two sentences, can you describe this opera you’re in?’ ” she recalled. “I said, ‘Nope.’ ”
…the violinist Hilary Hahn was at the center of a social whirl, which could be variously described as a marathon concert, a school day and a carnival.
New York Philharmonic Contact! at SubCulture, November 4, 2013
November 8, 2013
Good news: With the fifth season of Contact!, the contemporary-music series the New York Philharmonic inaugurated in 2009, comes a performance space that finally suits the informal tone the orchestra desired but never previously delivered.
Musical tributes similarly ranged from heavy-weather art song to pop-derived whimsy, much of it by composers not yet born when Kennedy died.
Hammering repetitions in the first of five movements echo choral dramatists throughout the ages, from Mozart and Beethoven to Orff and Philip Glass.
Alarm Will Sound at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, November 16, 2013
The New York Times, Nov. 19, 2013
Finally getting around to posting two reviews that ran in the Times last Tuesday. Both concerts were events I specifically requested, and neither disappointed.
This Alarm Will Sound concert came first, a week ago Saturday. It was part of a seasonlong residency that also included this previous program, as well as a flash-mob performance of "Cliffs" by Aphex Twin the following Monday afternoon. This concert also happened to be a particularly special event for a personal reason I'm keeping to myself. (If you saw me there, you can guess, I'm sure.)
Here are two videos showing portions of the aforementioned flash-mob performance, which happened on November 18 at noon.
I've promised myself for quite some time now that I'd finally get around to catching up with posting my writing for the Times here with a couple of omnibus posts, and now I'm finally making the time for it. Here's the first, covering everything between the two most recent reviews I've posted individually here – Jon Gillock's March recital and the Bard Music Festival in August – and notably including my first two non-classical music reviews for the paper, Yes and Steven Wilson.
Although I'd prefer to post my Times work in a timely manner, I'll admit that seeing so many weeks' worth of reviews all crammed together does give an unusually good representation of the range of things I'm called upon to cover. And in case it matters, the reason the Nate Wooley review of June 11 is listed here before the Girma Yifrashewa review of June 10 is because Wooley's concert actually preceded Yifrashewa's (June 6 and 8, respectively).
Another post bringing all things Times completely up to date will follow, hopefully very soon.
"The Reformed Drunkard" at the 59E59 Theaters
March 23, 2013
"Given everything this production had in its favor, the one lamentable aspect was a translation that eschewed poetry in favor of literalness."
"Faust" at the Metropolitan Opera
March 25, 2013
"You can’t blame the originator of the current production, the Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff, for trying to impose nuance, depth and relevance where the composer and his collaborators provided none."
Jeremy Denk at Carnegie Hall
March 26, 2013
"Again, colossal interpretations conveyed the sense of composers grappling with the ineffable, inventing new vocabulary to express the inexpressible."
Boston Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
April 6, 2013
"…like the New York Philharmonic playing Bernstein’s music, the Boston Symphony inhabits Bartók’s concerto like no other ensemble."
Alarm Will Sound at Zankel Hall
April 9, 2013
"Mr. Pierson and his musicians played with an exactness and verve that might inspire any composer to dream big."
Yes at the Beacon Theatre
April 11, 2013
"…few bands of Yes’s stature control their own destinies entirely; fan expectations and fiscal necessities exert unobserved pressures."
"Sunken Garden" at the Barbican Center
April 17, 2013
"Dig beneath its modern trappings and eye-popping 3-D film effects, though, and you find a remarkably conventional core… 'Sunken Garden' is positively old-fashioned in its idiosyncratic depiction of a flawed hero seeking to rescue a fair maiden imprisoned in a fairy-tale land by a mysterious sorceress."
"Through it all, Mr. Volkov was tireless and omnipresent, not only conducting and performing, but also giving informal chats, moving furniture and directing traffic."
"An elaborate adaptation of Walt Whitman’s 'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,' the piece is Ms. Higdon’s most trenchant work and among her loveliest, qualities undiminished in this skillful reduction."
New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall
April 26, 2013
"Fervently dedicated to Wagner, the symphony is awash in echoes of 'Die Walküre,' 'Tristan und Isolde' and 'Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg' — though Bruckner somehow converts all hints of eros into further worshipfulness."
Steven Wilson at the Best Buy Theater
April 29, 2013
"Like a child conducting his bedroom stereo, Mr. Wilson careered around the stage barefoot, flapping his hands to marshal Mr. Travis’s airy flute and saxophone lines, Mr. Guthrie’s aqueous solos, Mr. Holzman’s shimmering embellishments, and machine-gun bursts from Mr. Beggs and Mr. Minnemann."
"Any disappointment in missing Stravinsky’s pellucid orchestral writing was mitigated by the sparkle of the pianists, Pedja Muzijevic and Steven Beck, and in the brilliant singing of the choir…"
American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
May 4, 2013
"Time has shown that no subject or context is too complex or provocative for the conductor Leon Botstein to investigate in his programming for the American Symphony Orchestra, nor any topic so clear-cut that he will not muddy the waters by incorporating elements likely to prove provocative."
"HPSCHD" at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center
May 6, 2013
"During the second hour, heeding a cue from Richard Kostelanetz’s review of the premiere for The New York Times, I lay on the floor near a concealed loudspeaker and closed my eyes, drifting with the din. (Arising 30 minutes later, I read on Twitter that I had been spotted napping on the job.)"
Maurizio Pollini at Carnegie Hall
May 9, 2013
"For any pianist who has been performing as long and as well as he has, minor blemishes are practically inevitable and easily dismissed. Perhaps that forgiveness is extended less readily to Mr. Pollini, since so much of his stature is based on flawless precision and its revelatory effects."
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
May 10, 2013
"The auditorium rang with whoops and shouts as the orchestra took the stage, audience members twirling green banners that matched the ties and sashes the musicians wore."
"The storm, which flooded Ms. Anderson’s Lower Manhattan basement, looms from the start of the piece. It arrives near the end, when she describes seeing old keyboards and stage props floating, ruined."
"Even without sets, props or magic aural box, 'Fama' amounted to intensely potent theater, at times taking on positively hallucinatory effect as you strained to discern what instrument might conceivably be producing this unfamiliar sound or that oblique effect."
Tertulia at Harding's
May 21, 2013
"The concert program included approachable, insightful notes, as well as succinct tips in basic concert etiquette. Notably, the idea of proper and improper times for applause was dispensed with."
"Despite what prime-time television has conditioned us to expect, not every season-ending program has to conclude with oversize special effects and unanticipated twists."
Cantata Profana at Roulette
May 25, 2013
"Backed by a restless soundscape of twisted early-music parodies (Handel and Haydn most clearly), nervous chatters and birdlike twitters, Mr. Ward stalked the stage in a robe and pajamas, expertly booming and screeching through the work’s disjointed reminiscences."
Either/Or Spring Festival at the Kitchen
June 3, 2013
"I like program notes and artist biographies, and will take any opportunity I’m offered to look at the score of a new piece — usually a matter of taking an initiative I admittedly don’t always get around to."
Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall
June 4, 2013
"A magical moment arrives in every concert I have seen involving the conductor Nicholas McGegan, and it comes before any music has been made."
Lang Lang and Friends at Carnegie Hall
June 5, 2013
"Say what you will about Mr. Lang’s piano playing — in the past I have found him elegant, hyperbolic, generous and gaudy, often in the space of a single performance — but his instinct to extend the benefits of his fame to others is entirely laudable."
"You could practically see rays of sunlight breaking through banks of clouds as Mr. Wooley, trumpet pointed heavenward, reached the summit of his mountain once again."
Girma Yifrashewa at Issue Project Room
June 10, 2013
"'Classical music is music without Africa,' Brian Eno bluntly declared in a 1995 interview published in Wired magazine. 'It represents old-fashioned hierarchical structures, ranking, all the levels of control,' he said. An art-rock provocateur, Mr. Eno managed to patronize two cultures in a single blow…"
"Making new music is hard work, both for the composer confronted with a blank page (or screen) and for the performer, who is usually faced with limited time to hone an unfamiliar piece before offering it to the public."
"Blue Monday" at the Cotton Club
June 20, 2013
"Just after 8 p.m., a new pianist discreetly slipped into the band. A string quartet suddenly materialized. Without warning, an opera broke out…"
New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall
June 22, 2013
"The work’s infernal mechanics, pensive meditations and juggernaut intensity are familiar turf. But the symphony also has a pinch of new swagger, and a bluesy grit that recalls Bernstein’s 'On the Waterfront' music."
"The piano-wire litany, played through loudspeakers, engulfed an audience seated under the resonant archway, and drew in curious passers-by."
John Zorn's "Sacred Voices" at the Guggenheim Museum
June 25, 2013
"…moments of convergence — a passage of blanched harmony in 'Earthspirit' set against pale, white hues; 'The Devil’s Walk' (from 'Madrigals') awash in lurid reds; sudden dusk at the concert’s end — felt like more than synchronicity."
Eyvind Kang at the Stone
July 4, 2013
"Amplified instruments gave Ms. Darboven’s stark Minimalist patterns an industrial edge; factor in the evening’s stifling heat, and the experience took on a hallucinatory intensity."
Original Music Workshop "The Violin" at Federal Hall
July 11, 2013
"Paola Prestini is probably best known as a composer, but her business card might more accurately read 'human resources alchemist,' such is her gift for bringing together disparate artists, technicians and other creative professionals to produce cross-disciplinary works greater than the sum of their parts."
"Now, just over five years after his death — and with an acclaimed staging of 'Michaels Reise um die Erde' ('Michael’s Journey Around the World'), the second act of the opera 'Donnerstag aus Licht' ('Thursday From Light'), opening at the Lincoln Center Festival on Thursday — Stockhausen appears to have assumed his least-likely status of all: surefire box-office hit."
Rite of Summer Music Festival on Governors Island
July 15, 2013
"As Ashley Bathgate played and passers-by gawked, the rumble of air traffic overhead complemented her instrument’s groans."
"…even measured by the high standard this annual affair has sustained, this year’s festival — which runs through Aug. 24 here — rises to new levels of innovation, curiosity and, yes, chutzpah. Make no mistake, that’s meant as praise."
"I can’t recall a more gripping performance of 'La Cathédrale Engloutie' ('The Submerged Cathedral'), the high point of an account both exacting and spontaneous."
"Oresteia" at Bard College
July 30, 2013
"…if fleeting patches of shaky ensemble attested to the unfamiliarity of this noble enterprise, Mr. Botstein nonetheless drew a handsome performance…"
"'I’m interested in a modern theatrical language, but only in a complete harmony with the music making. And so I recognized that it’s best if I do it myself.'"
Christina Vantzou + CC Carana
Time Out New York
Aug 8–14, 2013
The ability to write music that can seize attention or fade into the background equally well is a unique skill, and Christina Vantzou has it in abundance—no surprise for a creator who started in visual art, film and animation. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and now based in Belgium, Vantzou honed her feel for diaphanous meditations and luminous reverie in the Dead Texan with Stars of the Lid member Adam Wiltzie, then started creating her own intricate, sampler-based music. Connecting with Magik*Magik Orchestra's Minna Choi, Vantzou made No. 1, an achingly lovely collection of postclassical chamber music issued by Kranky in 2011.
Appearing this week as part of the dinner-at-an-exhibition series Monkey Town 3, Vantzou joins members of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble in gorgeous, haunting material slated for the forthcoming No. 2, plus a Clint Mansell arrangement, all accompanied by new films. Sharing the bill is Brooklyn troubadour CC Carana, whose arty warble floats sweetly through subtly akimbo terrain.—Steve Smith
Eyebeam Art and Technology Center; Aug 8
Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall, February 6, 2013
The New York Times, Feb. 11, 2013
Given that Penelope, a large-scale song cycle composed by Sarah Kirkland Snider and sung by Shara Worden and recorded for the New Amsterdam record label, was my top classical [sic] recording for 2010, it should come as no surprise that I'd be interested in hearing its successor, Unremembered, an even larger song cycle featuring Worden, Padma Newsome, DM Stith and five supporting vocalists. Based on wistful poetry by Nathaniel Bellows, and augmented with projections of his art and animations, the piece was an involving and moving success on first brush - not as instantly assimilable as Penelope, but with depths that urge repeated listening.
Speaking of which, you can hear Unremembered – a work evidently still in-progress, since Snider has said she plans to add several more songs – streaming in full on the Q2 website, along with the Newsome, Stith and Worden songs that preceded it.
Finally, for those aware of the hardships that New Amsterdam endured after Superstorm Sandy blew through last October, some very welcome good news appeared on Thursday, in a blog post on the organization's website.
Music of Now Marathon at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia, February 2, 2013
The New York Times, Feb. 6, 2013
I almost never take issue with the way that my reviews are edited at The New York Times – after all, this is work made for hire, and subject to approval. But while I won't bemoan the excision of a few references to the program running well behind schedule, which I noted in my review of last year's marathon, I would like to clarify a point that doesn't feel quite so strong in the published essay as it did in my head.
Specifically, I didn't intend to suggest that the lovely set by Angélica Negrón, whose work I greatly admire, was the single most striking point of the marathon. Rather, what I was trying to say was that the vast leap in a single bound from Negrón's set to Ursula Oppens's performance of Memo 5 by Bernard Rands – a bustling, rigorous piece that could in some ways be viewed as the polar opposite of Negrón's airy songs – was the afternoon's most exhilarating stretch: a perfect representation of the stylistic expanse that defines contemporary music, and an illustration of the efficacy and appeal that two very different approaches can have.
Negrón's songs were winsome and sweet, demonstrating the potency of present-day tendencies toward inclusiveness and permeability. Rands's piano work was a personal negotiation of historical lineage and inheritance, yet in Ursula Oppens's hands it had a frisky vitality that suggested spontaneity.
My position, should it be unclear, is that both approaches can be equally valid. Eclecticism does not refute tradition. Improvisatory looseness and rigorous workmanship might be opposing techniques, but in practice they can produce strikingly similar effects. Both paths can lead to expressive, engaging works, so long as inspiration is present.
And here, I'll give a nod to this marathon's practice of engaging pretty much every participating composer in a preliminary interview. True, it's probably the reason that Music of Now has run late both times I've attended. But hearing Negrón talk about willfully shutting out the omnipresent Latin American vernacular sounds that surrounded her in Puerto Rico in order to find her own style, and listening to Rands recount a wooly tale about Stravinsky composing until a bottle of scotch ran dry, added a relatable dimension to each composer. In both instances, the personal introduction helped to provide a context, however slender, for the music that followed.
The citywide Composers Now festival, for which this marathon was the opening event, runs through February 28, and the full schedule is here.
So Percussion at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
The New York Times, Dec. 21, 2012
A review of Where (we) Live, the latest multimedia beguilement from So Percussion, who use vivid imagination and a solid grounding in John Cage's music to create a thoughtful meditation on the meaning of home. Be sure to read this fascinating related article by my excellent colleague, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim.