Opening Concert: ”Cruel Sister”
Art Factory, Avanti Hall
Brad Lubman, conductor
Avanti! Chamber Orchestra
Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings
Michael Gordon: Weather One
Steve Reich: Duet for Two Solo Violins and String Orchestra
Julia Wolfe: Cruel Sister
The opening concert of Summer Sounds is a feast of music for strings. Michael Gordon’s Weather One is a stormy plunge into musical history, which seems to be mixed up by climate change. Scored for string sextet or string orchestra, it reflects the chaotic climate changes that set Gordon wondering how the music of centuries past would sound if it were at the same time swirling around us. Weather One is influenced by Vivaldi’s motoric string writing, but the musical eddies sometimes throw up some surprises. Julia Wolfe’s Cruel Sister is based on an Old English folk ballad in which the cruel sister drowns the good sister, but two minstrels find the dead sister and she turns up at the cruel sister’s wedding. Steve Reich’s hypnotic polyphony acts as a father figure to the Bang on a Can compositions: the tender Duet for solo violins and strings is dedicated to Yehudi Menuhin. Samuel Barber’s masterly Adagio is a monument to American grief.
The concert lasts approx. 1 h 45 min. Intermission.