A lot to digest last week, no? The Ecstatic Music Festival marathon gave us a taste of its "multi-genre" offerings, performer-composers flourished in unique collaborations, and Q2 was blarring John Adams's El Niño, which typically ends with head-banging to "Shake The Heavens." This week on Hammered!, too much of last week's good things means reheating the uneaten pianistic highlights and serving them anew.
Bottom Layer: Despite last week's presentation of piano works composed and performed by musicians from the Ecstatic Music Festival, there were a lot of pieces we didn't have time to play, including some additional piano works by Tristan Perich, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli and festival curator Judd Greenstein.
Middle Layer: With so many of the works in the Ecstatic Festival performed by their creator, and fresh from Thomas Ades's own performance earlier this month with the New York Philharmonic of his piano concerto In Seven Days, it is only fitting that a small-scale celebration commence of pianist-composers, a once-thought dying breed. Tune in for performances/compositions by Frederic Rzewski, Jacob Greenberg, Kevin Volans, Ades, Charles Wuorinen and others.
Top Layer: To appease those of us anxious for the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Adams's Nixon In China, Q2 played a collection of his stage works and the Jerome L. Greene performance space hosted a conversation with Adams and director Peter Sellers alongside performances by cast members of Nixon's key arias. We're always looking for an excuse to play more Adams piano music, so Hammered! will follow suit and offer his complete works -- a piece a day -- on Tuesday through Friday.
There are a lot to choose from, but what have been your 2011 keyboard highlights thus far?