Review: Tanglewood Music Center’s abbreviated Festival of Contemporary Music

Posted on: August 2, 2021

“Like most things about this summer at Tanglewood, the Tanglewood Music Center’s annual Festival of Contemporary Music was distinctly abbreviated this year, including three [90-minute] concerts … in the Koussevitzky Music Shed due to the season-long closure of Ozawa Hall,” writes A.Z. Madonna in last Tuesday’s (6/27) Boston Globe. “In the chamber concerts, ‘smaller is better’ proved a useful rule of thumb…. The clarinet duet of fellows Jakob Lenhardt and Sangwon Lee made a punchy avian argument of Per Norgård’s ‘Hut Ab!’ TMC fellow pianists Mathilde Handelsman and Barry Tan delivered a mesmerizing rendition of Judith Weir’s ‘Ardnamurchan Point.’ … Xinyang Wang’s ‘Between the Resonating Abysses’ for string orchestra was given its world premiere…. The TMC orchestra closed out the festival Monday evening with a well-balanced program of late-20th-century styles [including] Norgård’s ‘Dream Play’ [and] Steve Reich’s ‘Reich/Richter,’ [which] would be undistinguished in the composer’s catalog without its visual counterpart, a hypnotic film by Corinna Belz and Gerhard Richter.… Anthony Marwood [was] the featured soloist in Ligeti’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra…. Marwood’s violin dug deep through double stops and soared high with angelic resonance—think many-eyed seraphim, not Precious Moments figurine.”