Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Tirade Aborted

Okay, instead of diving into a tirade against the hopelessly naive musicians I met last night, I'm going instead to discuss the concert I heard tonight.

Again, I had to catch the last half of the concert. It seems to be a pattern.

The piece was "Unknown Ground" by Michael Finnissy, who is composer in residence at SICPP this year (SICPP = Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice). In the past, I have had little experience with Mr. Finnissy's music. In fact, I played Eb clarinet on one piece of his and I was thoroughly not impressed with that piece.

"Unknown Ground" however, is a wonderful piece. Beautiful and heartwrenching at the same time. The text dealt with a man discussing AIDS and his reactions to it. The singer was Brian Church, with whom I performed Peter Maxwell Davies' "8 Songs for a Mad King" several seasons ago. Brian was stunning. It was nice to hear him be delicate, as compared to the raucous gymnastics that the Davies' forced upon him. Finnessy's piece was wonderful and it makes me want to hear more from this man.

A heads up for clarinetists: Michael Finnissy and Michael Norsworthy will be performing Finnissy's "Marilyn, Brian, Mike and the Cats" for piano and clarinet tomorrow night in Willams Hall at NEC. After that, I will take part in Terry Riley's "In C" in the same place. Please do come...The concert is free (as are all the SICPP concerts this week).

Oh, if you haven't heard the several performances from these two, Jessi Rosinski (flute) and Yukiko Takagi (piano) will be playing Boulez's "Sonatine" earlier in the same concert. I've heard them play this piece several times and it's the real thing.

Again: Go find "Unknown Ground" where you can and enjoy.


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