Review: PostClassical Ensemble, marking Pearl Harbor Day with WWII-era music

Posted on: December 11, 2017

On Thursday, “The PostClassical Ensemble gave its first concert as an official resident group of the [Washington National Cathedral]” together with the cathedral’s choir, writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (12/8) Washington Post. “The concert was designed to mark Pearl Harbor Day with music written during World War II…. The PostClassical Ensemble specializes in offbeat works, often including texts, so it was perfectly in keeping for the group to conclude its concert with Schoenberg’s ‘Ode to Napoleon,’ which … involves a vocal soloist declaiming quite a long text.… This is 12-tone music so effusive it’s downright populist…. Add to this a recording of the complete speech of Franklin Delano Roosevelt announcing the outbreak of war with Japan, pouring out into the cathedral with the hiss of old recordings, and you have a typical PostClassical Ensemble concert: edifying, worth hearing and a little too much of a good thing. But the cathedral, large and enduring, seems like a good space for this mercurial group—particularly thanks to its chorus.” Also on the program were Shostakovich’s second piano trio and Hanns Eisler songs from his Hollywood Songbook.

Posted December 11, 2017