February 4 thru February 10

THE BOX IS EMPTY’S TOP PICK:

Seattle Modern Orchestra – Derlious Serialists: Music by Maderna, Nono, and Boulez.  Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA.  February 8, 2013, 8:00 p.m..

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This Friday, Seattle Modern Orchestra offer a tremendous program devoted to high-modernist, European avant-garde. These composers, Boulez, Maderna, and Nono (along with Stockhausen, whose music does not appear on this concert), are pillars of the so-called Darmstadt School, and the works programmed here by SMO’s co-artisitic directors Julia Tai and Jérémy Jolly are exemplars of midcentury style.  This music is, as the title of the concert would suggest, unabashedly serialist.  However, dispel yourself of the notion that it will at all sound formulaic, rigid, or impenetrable.  To the contrary, these composers were, in addition to being strict formalists, great innovators of musical color and instrumental combination.

Aside from the rare opportunity to hear Boulez’s groundbreaking and still-influential Le marteau sans maître, “This performance will demystify the most misunderstood era of music,” according to SMO’s website. Perhaps more important, SMO are sure to offer stunning performances of all three works.  Also the groups conductor, Julia Tai excels in this particular style.  She and Jolly can always be trusted to assemble the best of Seattle’s players and shepherd unyielding and demanding music into a vibrant reality of sounds.

This concert is a must for any fans of contemporary music of any stripe.  If your tastes are for Webern or the Second Viennese School, then go and hear their succeeding generation of torch-bearers.  If you prefer American minimal music, then go and hear exactly what Reich says he and his compatriots attempted to counteract.  Either way, the performance will be outstanding…GO LISTEN!

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