Tuesday, October 25, 2011

three more musical events

1. Was it a world premiere or wasn't it? I don't know if this in-progress work by Osvaldo Golijov counts or not; what I do know is that the St. Lawrence Quartet then went on to play Schubert like cackling maniacs.

2. Immediately from there, dashed up to the City because Gustavo Dudamel had brought his LA Philharmonic to town. Despite the hair, he conducted soberly. Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams: a cheeky choice, as MTT had given the world premiere of that work. Magnetar by the Mexican composer Enrico Chapela, had gotten its world premiere at the LAPO's home concerts that very week. It's a concerto for electric cello, an instrument which can sound like anything it wants, and does. This piece was flaky to the max, but coherent and entertaining. Prokofiev's Fifth: loud enough, and fast enough, but it could have been more ruthless, and the climaxes in the slow movements felt a little underpowered given the resources available. The LAPO is the only orchestra of which I can say: the percussion is too loud.

3. Modern-music piano wiz Gloria Cheng gave a free concert of John Cage in the ancient precincts of Stanford's computer-music lab. The tiny hall was filled to overflowing because, it turned out, someone had signed it up as a Meetup.com event. Consequently the conversations in the lobby beforehand were mostly among people who knew nothing of, or had never even heard of, John Cage, and were just there from curiosity. I hope they were satisfied. Repertoire: Water Music, a performance art piece starting with turning on a radio to a specified frequency (it was emitting "Proud Mary", which it wouldn't have done when Cage concocted the piece in 1952), after which the pianist hits occasional keys and performs random acts like pouring water between vases and throwing playing cards onto the piano strings; and Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, an hour of soft, distant, strange, almost gamelan-like sounds.

No comments:

Post a Comment