Many concert-goers complain that contemporary music is too dissonant, too angular, too arhythmic. MusicNOW, as the new music wing of the CSO, proves that there is more to new music than trenchant angst. Their programs are generally a mix of contemporary writing styles including both serene minimalism, Jazz influenced and the avant garde.
Tonight is the last MusicNOW concert of the season, which conclude with a pizza and beer reception provided by Edwardo's and Goose Island, respectively.
Most of the program consists of John Luther Adams (not to be confused with the other John Adams of Nixon in China fame). His music is also somewhat minimalist but somehow different than Adams or the other mainstays of American minimalism: Reich and Glass. The music of J. L. Adams reflects his environment just as the music of Reich reflects New York and that of J. Adams, southern California.
Other pieces on the program include one of my favorite pieces of Osvaldo Golijov: The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. Though only the last movement, it's an intensely chilling emotional journey through the ancient teachings of the Kabbalah. Watch it on Youtube.
This seems to be the most exciting MusicNOW program of the season: intense focused emotions of Golijov's Jewish heritage and vast expanses of Adams' Alaska. It's all music that stands a chance of surviving for a good many years: all music of importance, no schmaltz.
- March 14, 8pm, Harris Theater (Millennium Park)
- $20, $10 student
- web: CSO MusicNOW
- No schmaltz