New CDs from “indie” orchestras: where’s the new music?

Posted on: June 11, 2012

In Friday’s (6/8) San Francisco Classical Voice, Brett Campbell writes, “As classical music goes increasingly DIY, we’re seeing more independent ensembles (following the example of Orpheus and others) touring the country, landing on even conservative presenting programs, and trying to find new, sustainable ways to make music without the traditional support of an established, full-time municipal orchestra. Two of the more exciting indie classical orchestras just released new CDs that show that a different operating model doesn’t diminish the music’s quality. Still, if orchestras like this are going to innovate on the operational side—more power to ’em!—I wish they’d also include more innovative and contemporary music in their programs. In fact, none of contents of both the Knights’ A Second of Silence and East Coast Chamber Orchestra’s ECCO would frighten off patrons of traditional classical presenting programs, even if the players don’t always perform in standard 19th-century formal attire. … What makes [A Second Silence] distinctive is the connections between the pieces on the program.” The CD includes works by Schubert, Glass, Satie, and Morton Feldman; ECCO includes works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Michi Wiancko, and Archangelo Corelli.

Posted June 11, 2012