Concert Review: Glass’s “Four Seasons” premiered in Aspen

Posted on: July 26, 2010

In Saturday’s (7/24) Denver Post, Kyle MacMillan writes about the Thursday evening concert at the Aspen Music Festival. “The center of attention was [Philip] Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 2, ‘American Four Seasons,’ an auspiciously titled work that was commissioned by a consortium of musical organizations, including the Aspen festival. Obviously inspired by Vivaldi’s famous set of concertos ‘The Four Seasons,’ it is scored for a baroque-sized chamber orchestra, with an electronic synthesizer in place of the traditional harpsichord, and includes a few musical allusions to the earlier work. It is important, though, not to get too carried away with comparisons between the two pieces. This new concerto is very much its own work—decidedly contemporary and composed within the well-known Glass aesthetic. … At the hub of the concerto was violinist Robert McDuffie, who persuaded Glass to compose it and is clearly committed to the result. He performed with extraordinary ease and elan and inspired fervid, polished playing from the mostly student orchestra.”

Posted July 26, 2010