Cleveland Chamber symphony concert

Tom Jackson did a review, so I guess I don’t really need to, except to amplify or disagree. I was a bit disappointed in Compline by Rouse, a composer I usually love. Ostinato is a faithful servant but a hard master, and the beginning of the piece just got stuck. (My wife compared it in very uncomplimentary terms to rap music.). I liked the quieter more “compline-y” passages. Erb’s Devil’s Quickstep was full of interesting sounds and had a great ending but didn’t seem to have a lot of direction. Inquiring minds want to know: did the musicians get doubling fees for their harmonica playing? The direction thing also applied to Larson’s Tatterdamalion, which could be described stylistically as off-kilter neoclassicism (if that’s not redundant). It was fun, and not too long. Bolcom’s Orfee-Serenade was the strongest work on the program as music, but then I’m prejudiced: I consider Bill my guru even though I never got to study privately with him (if I had a real understanding back then of how the academic world worked, I probably could have made it happen though). Rusty was quite enchanted with the penultimate slow movement. Erb’s Souvenir was definitely a blast from the past, literally very trippy. We were in perfect seats: center, right under the lip of the balcony, so we could be participatory without being assaulted. It was hard to judge the music, which was a small part of the process of the piece; it just kind of meandered on. We had great fun with the big balloons, though I gouged Rusty’s hand while going to hit one, and Rusty in turn lost a fingernail in a student behind her. We escaped the Silly String. Rusty collected about a half dozen of the ping-pong balls and stuck them in my pockets, as she hadn’t brought her purse and “you’re the one who carries the balls around here.” It would be quite interesting (though totally different) to hear the recording (There really could never be any such thing as a “studio recording” of that.)


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