Moderno Gustavo

May 4, 2010

Just back from the last Green Umbrella concert of the season at Disney Hall. All vigorous pieces by white males born between 1967-79.

I’m proud of the LA Phil for supporting young composers–there have been pieces by composers 40 and younger on most of their new music concerts.

For me, none of the pieces were quite right, but I got what they were trying to do. Meaning, if they were MY student, I’d have some structural opinions. But I learn to keep my mouth shut. The opening guitar piece by Mr Lee was beautifully written for the guitar but seemed to wander very far away. Everybody loves fast music: somtimes people care about the notes in fast music and sometimes we dont’. You know? Mr Norman’s “Gran Turismo” was such a piece. The performance was electrifying. The violin octet was clearly a gas to play. Gustavo hugged everyone of them after the performance. Touch. Yes.

Mr Bermel contributed “Canzonas Americanas” and was downright campy. I felt that the Hollywood Bowl had suddenly kicked into gear: surprisingly populist with modernist wrenches thrown in. The final movement was a good first sketch. Needs more music, but really catchy material. At the intermission everyone was humming it. I kept thinking: this crowd is dying for a tune, but catchy tunes are somewhat rare in this series.Brouwer’s Sonata for guitar was peaceful nocturne; and the final piece by Benzecry jumped up an said hello: strange morphing between filmic textures, spectralism and some Latin rhythms sprinkled in.

I only had use of my sunglasses today as my regular ones are in the shop. So I felt a bit like Jack Nicholson at the Lakers Game.

Oh yeah, Gustavo! He is a joy to watch. He can stay out of the way and keep body motions to a minimum. Or he can move. His body enhanced conducting style took flight especially in Mr Norman’s piece. Composers take note: Mr Dudamel likes fast music that sparkle and percolates.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Leonid May 5, 2010 at 9:03 am

I think many composers are overwhelmed by the greatness of classical masters.

Yet it’s ok to engage in a creative dialog with those outstanding individuals. Technology develops.

Shostakovich did not have MIDI, and many of the other gadgets we have now. Yet some of his music works fairly well with the MIDI format:

http://kompoz.com/p/17872

The point, of course, is that we have to be true to ourselves. What was a finished score to Horner or Glass, could’ve been only a first, largely undeveloped, sketch for, say Shoksatovich.

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