Post-Classical Ensemble in 2010-11
Lou Harrison (1917-2003) was a maverick West Coast composer whose fascinations included the Javanese gamelan and Asian instruments, just intonation, and writing poetry. His music -- lyrical, meditative, wide-ranging, sanguine, open -- has seldom been performed in Washington. Next season, he’s getting his own festival in DC.
The Post-Classical Ensemble announced tonight a promising program for its 2010-11 season. This group, directed by Joe Horowitz and Angel Gil-Ordóñez, has carved out its niche by doing events other institutions don’t, and this season is an excellent example of the benefits of “festival thinking,” with focuses on George Gershwin, Harrison, and Igor Stravinsky -- a thoughtful series of snapshots of 20th-century music.
“Interpreting Gershwin,” at the Clarice Smith Center in September, starts on September 21 with a doubleheader of free programs examining Gershwin and improvisation and Gershwin and jazz. This mini-festival features the pianists Vakhtang Kodanashvili and Genadi Zagor, the featured soloist in the ensemble’s main concert, “Gershwin and Russia,” on the 24th, featuring Gershwin highlights like the Concerto in F; this event will be preceded by a presentation of Soviet Gershwin recordings.
(read more after the jump)
The Russian accent extends to the season’s final weekend, “The Stravinsky Project,” at Strathmore and Georgetown the weekend of April 8-10, featuring the pianist Alexander Toradze, among others. “Stravinsky’s Russian Accent” is the name of the main event here, also conducted by Gil-Ordóñez, with Toradze as soloist in the Concerto for Piano and winds, and “Les Noces” with the Washington Bach Consort. The other main concert, “Stravinsky and the piano,” presents Toradze, Zagor, and George Vatchnadze in Stravinsky’s main piano works (including the Concerto for Two Solo Pianos and a two-piano version of “Rite of Spring”). In addition, the weekend offers a sequence of intense Stravinsky immersions: a six-hour film festival at the National Gallery; a conference (“Stravinsky and the Theater”) at Georgetown; and an “Interpreting Stravinsky” marathon with photographs and film clips, a performance of the pianola version of “Les Noces,” and lecture-demonstrations at the Strathmore mansion.
As for the Harrison event in February and March, it is, like his music, both substantial and not long enough. It includes a day-long conference on the man and his music; the premiere of a documentary film on Harrison by Eva Soltes (February 27), and a concert (on March 5) that includes some of Harrison’s gamelan works (a single movement of his Concerto for Piano and Javanese Gamelan among them) and a chance to hear the composer’s piano concerto, more than half an hour long, a major American composition that’s all too rarely heard. (Benjamin Pasternack is the soloist.) It’s the centerpiece of a beguiling season that, if sometimes didactic, is teaching worthwhile things in what one hopes is generally a good way.
Edited to add: Andrew Zender, the communications coordinator at the Clarice Smith Center, did an interview with Joseph Horowitz about the Gershwin project.
Posted by: azender | June 23, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snaketime1 | June 23, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anne Midgette | June 23, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: snaketime1 | June 23, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anne Midgette | June 24, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snaketime1 | June 24, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snaketime1 | June 24, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snaketime1 | June 25, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.