Review: La Jolla Symphony program curated by conductor Sameer Patel, from Messiaen and Takemitsu to Lash

Posted on: May 8, 2018

“To have major works by both [Schoenberg and Stravinsky] on a program, plus rarely heard compositions by Olivier Messiaen and Toru Takemitsu, made Sunday’s … concert by the La Jolla Symphony the event of the year for lovers of 20th century music,” writes Christian Hertzog in Monday’s (5/7) San Diego Union Tribune. “Schoenberg’s mysterious ‘Five Pieces for Orchestra, Opus 16’ opened the concert curated by San Diego Symphony Associate Conductor Sameer Patel.… Patel and the musicians captured its subtle contrasts, mood swings and Expressionist aggression. [Toru Takemitsu’s] ‘A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden’ has a nonlinear form featuring lush chords and yearning melodies that trail off unpredictably. Silences punctuate the work, and at times Patel stopped conducting to let musicians proceed at their own pace…. Messiaen’s ‘Un sourire’ … an oblique homage to Mozart … [features] a gorgeous adagio … interrupted by chattering birds portrayed by winds and percussion. San Diegans don’t get to hear Messiaen’s orchestral music, and it was a treat to hear. There was one living composer represented: Hannah Lash, whose ‘Eating Flowers’ was marked by streams of mallet percussion laying down a harmonic carpet underneath melodic motives that were reorchestrated, stretched or compressed.” Also on the program was Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements.

Posted May 8, 2018