Adams and Eve-ntualities

The History of Chamber Symphonies: Explicit and Imagined

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Concert music is perhaps one of the few art forms that is born purely of abstraction. Each composition demands the composer construct a new world with its own set of rules and regulations. The composition becomes the sole portal into this new sonic universe, through which we get a glimpse of the artist’s vision. However, some pieces come with a history, and, while entirely original and independent, connect with the audience somewhat differently. The experience of listening becomes filled with discovery of the new and surprises of sensing familiar traces.

This Sunday we’ll start with John Adams’Son of Chamber Symphony, a thrilling work that comes with its own considerable lineage. Composed in 2007 for the ensemble Alarm Will Sound, the work follows the footsteps of its predecessor, Chamber Symphony of 1992, a piece that itself is a response to Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony, Op. 9. Following the Adams, we’ll listen to Paul Chihara’s own Chamber Symphony. 

We’ll finish the program with Jason Treuting’s Oblique Music for 4 Plus (Blank) as recorded live at Miller Theatre, a work that while bearing no immediate connection to the other pieces on the program, nonetheless lulls the ear into a familiar space (the piece starts beautifully and reminiscent of something decelerated and almost Gershwinesque!) as it wistfully offers a few dim glimpses of the opening Adams.

Hosted by:

Gity Razaz

Comments [1]

Micnael Meltzer

Mr. Adams misses the point. Concert music still goes back to the dance, something in us that is hard-wired for us to want to do. When the music doesn't make the audience feel like dancing, it is a failure.
The concert hall, a modern invention, amplifies the audience so the musicians can earn a living, and gives those of us too old or too fat to dance a chance to sit there and feel like dancing anyway.
There's nothing abstract about it.

Nov. 07 2011 07:45 PM

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