This week, (Le) Poisson Rouge offers listeners an ultra-intimate concert featuring contemporary piano queen Gloria Cheng, and the Calder Quartet performing works by Messiaen, Saariaho, Stravinsky and Boulez.
Celebrated both as a spokesperson and conjurer of New Music, Cheng performs solo piano works throughout much of the recital. Hosting what she deems a "challenging" program of all "masterpieces," she invites her listeners into the kaleidoscopic sound worlds of spectralism and warm experimentalism with amusing historical contextualization and even audio examples of the overtone series between her dizzying performances.
Peppering the concert are elastic performances by the Calder Quartet, who play alongside Cheng in Thomas Adès' Piano Quintet, and then by themselves via Stravinsky's Three Pieces for String Quartet.
All of the artists involved have hyper-disparate associations and experiences under their belt. Cheng claims a Stanford economics degree and Grammy; the quartet has history with Terry Riley, Christopher Rouse and infamous rock musician/slacker Andrew W.K. With this wild diversity brought to the table, the musicians create an evening of equal parts blistering virtuosity, entertainment, contemporary music seminar. Listen to the concert on Sunday, February 20 at 2 p.m.