Review: Philip Glass-curated program at Carnegie, with American Composers Orchestra

Posted on: December 13, 2017

“This season Philip Glass is resident composer at Carnegie Hall, meaning he gets to program a series of concerts there,” writes John Rockwell in Wednesday’s (12/13) Financial Times (London). “The first of these … entitled ‘Reflected in Glass’ … on Friday … offered the young violinist Tim Fain, the veteran conductor George Manahan and the strings of the American Composers Orchestra, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. This was a concert in which Glass chose a recent piece of his own, preceded by two younger composers who have worked closely with him…. There was Bryce Dessner, whose Réponse Lutosławski was an homage to the Polish composer’s Musique funèbre. Glass’s own Violin Concerto No. 2, ‘The American Four Seasons,’ supposedly echoed Vivaldi.… [Pauchi] Sasaki’s Gama XVI, a first performance, offered a Glassian backdrop of hushed strings and electronics with, first, the composer in a ‘speaker dress’ that played scratchy electronic music, and then Fain as violin soloist … Dessner’s [Réponse Lutosławski] … sounded sweet, sad, elegiac and, yes, Glassian. So did Glass’s concerto (2009) … with rising and falling arcs of arpeggiated ensemble string writing…. The nearly continuous violin writing here—Fain got a real workout—had moments of poetic eloquence.”

Posted December 13, 2017