Review: BMOP performs new works at New England Conservatory

Posted on: January 22, 2014

In Tuesday’s (1/21) Justice, the student newspaper of Brandeis University, Nate Shaffer writes, “On Friday, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project premiered [Brandeis] Prof. David Rakowski’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at New England Conservatory’s famed Jordan Hall in Boston. This concert, entitled ‘Triple Threat,’ featured the works of three prominent local composers: Elena Ruehr, Ken Ueno, and Brandeis’ own Rakowski. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project commissions new pieces by prominent composers.… Ruehr’s ‘Summer Day,’ inspired by a painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, felt very cinematic and impressionistic. Ueno’s ‘Hapax Legomenon,’a concert for two-bow cello and orchestra … allowed for an exploration of new harmonic possibilities on the traditional instrument. The piece felt ground-breaking and new, but it also was able to strike an emotional chord with the audience. Rakowski’s piece began like a run-on sentence, with a torrent of notes on the low register of the piano and occasional interjections from the orchestra.… The second movement brought a sorrowful shift. It was an elegy to one of Rakowski’s mentors at Princeton University: Milton Babbitt.… There was marvelous syncopation, especially in the brass section. The dream-like movement brought me to musical places I have never been to before. “

Posted January 22, 2014