Review: American Composers Orchestra highlights East/West intersections

Posted on: April 5, 2016

“Middle Eastern and Indian traditions filtered through a Western lens were the theme of ‘Eastern Wind,’ a program heavy in world premieres” by the American Composers Orchestras at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on Friday, writes Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim in Monday’s (4/3) New York Times. “With sources of inspiration encompassing Ottoman composition techniques, North Indian rhythmic cycles, biblical Hebrew, and the songs of the Egyptian megastar Umm Kulthum, the concert, conducted by George Manahan, made for a refreshingly multifaceted evening of new music…. [In] Mehmet Ali Sanlikol’s ‘Harabat/The Intoxicated’ … the composer sang and played the oud against dense orchestral accompaniment.… Its elements—jazz scatting and rhythmic Sufi chanting, for instance—always seemed on the verge of connecting in fascinating ways. The concert closed with ‘Songs from Solomon’s Garden,’ based on the Song of Songs by the German composer Matthias Pintscher, a well-established figure on the Modernist scene. The purposeful shape and subtle orchestration of this work stood in stark contrast to the experimental feel of the rest of the evening’s program.” Also featured were Saad Haddad’s Manarah, Gity Razaz’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus, and Reena Esmail’s Avartan.

Posted April 5, 2016