Streets of Your Town: This week's best concerts, from rock to jazz to rap to everything else, featuring R. Kelly, Aerosmith, Tegan and Sara, and more.
Last night, Miller kicked off its 2012-13 season with a staged concert by the French early music ensemble Le Poème Harmonique, giving lovers of baroque music and opera a reason to celebrate. The program, entitled Venezia: from the Streets to the Palaces, is billed as the group’s “largest New York production to date,” and offers an opportunity for New Yorkers to get to know one of Europe’s most exciting early music ensembles on intimate terms.
The new piece, On Sacred Ground, which combines the trio's reinterpretation of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with projections by visual artists Cristina Guadalupe and Noah Hutton featuring modern dancer Julie Warden, touches down in Damrosch Park tonight after nearly 20 performances around the country. Co-commissioned by Duke Performances in North Carolina and Lincoln Center, it premiered to raves at Duke University last fall.(1)
Curiously (and enticingly), however, when both players stopped referencing the album in any direct way, they seemed capable of greater invention. Playing what they called a series of “solos”—which the pair described from the stage as “those things where you play solo, and then I join you at the end”—they reached for a language beyond the one they’ve already set down on the album.
If you’ve never seen Glass play his own music, there have been—and will continue to be—a great number of opportunities during this, his 75th birthday year. (But this one is the cheapest!) Even if you have seen Glass perform his music before, this particular concert is one to strongly consider catching. Right now, the composer sounds, well, pretty damn good.
Terry Riley on giving up self-publishing and his new concerto for electric violin, being performed this weekend
In this way, you might think of Riley as a blue-chip modern-art stock. But once a listener moves beyond Riley’s sixties-era work, and the enduring pop-culture legacy it has earned him, the composer’s efforts can seem surprisingly ignored. Though his chamber music champions are notable, they have not been large in number (if not for the Kronos Quartet’s commissioning and performance activity, Riley’s latter-day catalogue might not amount to much), while his symphonic works are largely absent from the modern repertoire. This counter-intuitive, outsider aspect of Riley’s persona is what makes this Saturday’s concert at Carnegie Hall such a must-see event.
This year's MATA Festival of young composers surprises with unusual instruments and immersive sound-worlds
“We wanted to represent the broadest possible picture of what’s happening now by young composers and to find things that you don’t typically hear,” said MATA’s Executive Director David T. Little during an interview on Wednesday. “We’ve succeeded if people who know this music really well are finding new things that they didn’t know about, new composers they hadn’t known about.”
Unsound Festival's third annual run finds the meeting point of the electronic and classical avant-garde
But the Unsound Festival, which is about to begin its third year in New York, marked itself out locally from the beginning by focusing more on sensibility than genre—one basically in line with the British avant-garde music magazine The Wire’s, heavy on electronic dance music but equally so in electroacoustic and modern classical. It’s a festival where D.J.s and orchestras are coequals, where subwoofer pressure is as important as composition.
All of this said, let one thing be clear: there is no such work as “the Verdi Requiem.” Verdi composed the Requiem not because he was haunted by thoughts of mortality or visited by a stranger in black, as the play and film Amadeus would have us believe about Mozart and his mass for the dead. Instead, Verdi wrote it to honor a particular man and for a specific occasion, as his own title for the work made clear. In English, it is “Requiem Mass / for / the anniversary of the death of / Manzoni / 22 May 1874.” But who was Manzoni? And what moved Verdi, who claimed to be “as proud as Lucifer,” to attach another man’s name to his resplendent score?
Ron Carter is in the mood to reflect about process and education as he prepares to star in a Juilliard gala fund-raiser Tuesday night at Alice Tully Hall. The proceeds will go to a scholarship the school is naming in his honor.