Monday, December 29, 2008

Moments In A Lifetime (The Musical Past And The Musical Future ... Some Music Already Heard At Least Once, Some Music Not Yet Heard Even Once)

Two musical memories of the past 16 months – Sir Harrison Birtwistle and David Harsent’s opera "The Minotaur" and Jonathan Harvey’s "Towards a Pure Land" with guest conductor Ilan Volkov and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Two musical events anticipated after the Inauguration -- the world premiere of Gyorgy Kurtag’s "Hommage à Bartók", under the composer's direction, at the Library of Congress on Saturday February 7, 2009; and the Washington premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s "In Vain", at the Embassy of Austria, on Monday Feburary 9, 2009 (also under the composer's direction).



And a musical event anticipated before the Inauguration -- Ilan Volkov returns to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra in George Crumb's "The Haunted Landscape" on January 15-17, 2009. The uncredited NSO program note here:

"Instrumentation: Three flutes, one doubling on piccolo; three oboes, one doubling on English horn, three clarinets, one doubling on e-flat soprano; three bassoons, one doubling on contrabassoon; four horns; three trumpets; three trombones; one tuba; timpani; two harps; strings; amplified piano...

and percussion, percussion, and more percussion....

Four almglocken (cowbells of indeterminate pitch mounted on a rate)
Two Cambodian anklungs (two or three bamboo tubes of specific pitch, which resonate when shaken) ...

Four people, more than 50 instruments from too many cultures and sources to count, in about 18 minutes."


Photo credit: Scene from Andrzej Wajda's "Kanal". Copyright controlled. With thanks.


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