Review: New-music ensembles bring orchestra scores to life at Zorn@60

Posted on: September 30, 2013

On Thursday’s (9/26) New York Times, Steve Smith reviews Zorn@60, a program marking composer John Zorn’s 60th birthday in New York. Among the performers: the International Contemporary and Talea ensembles, and the Jack, Flux, Mivos, and Momenta string quartets. “On Wednesday night, a starry aggregation gathered on the stage of the Miller Theater at Columbia University…Present were members from New York’s current wave of hyper-versatile, independent new-music groups. … The concert started with what might be his best-known orchestral piece, the violin concerto ‘Contes de Fées.’  … ‘Kol Nidre,’ a 1996 work plucked from Mr. Zorn’s burgeoning Masada songbooks, is a rich, haunting Jewish devotional… ‘Orchestral Variations,’ written the same year for the New York Philharmonic, is Mr. Zorn as thieving magpie, with baubles of dutiful Minimalism, tipsy Stravinsky, cinematic swoon and Straussian pomp assembled for flashy display. It’s treacherously hard work, and Mr. Fulmer’s all-stars nailed it. The concert ended with the United States premiere of ‘Suppôts et Supplications,’ composed in 2012 for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. … The music was changeable and ornery, a tumultuous mélange of virtuoso stylistic gestures and charged emotional states. … Conveying a surprising ease and efficiency…the music was emphatically, inimitably Zorn.”

Posted September 30, 2013