Adams and Eve-ntualities
The History of Chamber Symphonies: Explicit and Imagined
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’s 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.