Tunes Review: Barge Music’s Below and Now Wintertime Pageant

January 5th, 2014

Fourteen performers assembled on the old coffee barge below the Brooklyn Bridge for the duration of Thursday evening’s blizzard for Bargemusic’s Below and Now winter season pageant of up to date fare. With 14 items by 13 composers, the program felt considerably like a potluck supper the place the handful of tantalizingly completed dishes are concluded all way too quickly, leaving you to select at multiple versions of baked macaroni.

The stage of execution was substantial. The pianist Steven Beck began the night off with a crystalline rendition of Pierre Boulez’s atmospheric “Une Webpage d’?ph?m?ride,” which explores the acoustic internal world of a grand piano. Mr. Beck was joined by the expressive cellist Michael Nicolas in John Zorn’s “Occam’s Razor,” a work that also looks to engage in with lead to and result, in this case the transforming energy of violence.

The scintillating colours of people two parts created the adhering to performs for solo piano seem two-dimensional. Kenneth Fuchs’s “Falling Canons” for piano (Nos. 1, three, four and five) and Victoria Bond’s “Binary (I, II),” executed by the considerate pianist Olga Vinokur, and Peri Mauer’s “A Tiny New Year’s Flair” played by the rhythmically astute Blair McMillen, all investigated construction and rhythm, with handful of discoveries to report. So did Don Byron’s “3 Etudes,” but Mr. McMillen — who also had to vocalize and sing in these — introduced out their dry wit.

A single highlight was the beautiful rendition of Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Jatekok IV” (“Games”) by the pianists Michael Brown and Adam Golka. Technically, it is scored “for piano four fingers,” but the players also make use of elbows and forearms. At moments, 1 participant silently pressed several keys so that their corresponding strings vibrate together, adding a pastel shimmer to the notes played by the other. Mr. Brown’s very own darkly alluring “Chant” will take a related restrained strategy to the 4-hand idiom, reaching for included coloration relatively than a warren of voices.

The virtuosic bass trombonist David Taylor figured in 3 items that played with the astounding selection of audio outcomes his instrument is able of. He was joined by Ms. Vinokur in his possess “And If All had been Darkish,” a deeply satisfying brief piece that attracts a sonic arc from flylike buzzing to abundant, mellow tone and back again once more. Collectively with Felix Del Tredici, he introduced darkish swagger to David Shohl’s “Barcarolle for 2 Bass Trombones,” a piece that hovers on the border of humor and violence.

Nature’s violence and human struggling are the subjects of Sandeep Bhagwati’s disturbing but intriguing “Seventeen Miyagi Haikus for 2 Bass Trombones and Piccolo Trumpet,” motivated by the Japanese earthquake of 2011, in which Mr. Taylor and Mr. Del Tredici ended up joined by Peter Evans in drawing peculiar appears out of their devices that had been by turns alienating and eerily human.

Extended approach and flashy virtuosity are melded jointly in Paul Desenne’s Sonata for solo violin, which the violinist Miranda Cuckson performed with excellent focus and stamina. The exact same characteristics educated the percussionist Gregory Zuber’s pellucid rendition of Charles Wuorinen’s intricate “Marimba Variations.”

Mr. Fuchs’s charismatic “String Quartet No. 4” acquired its New York premiere at the arms of a fantastic quartet made up of the violinists Jennifer Choi and Pala Garcia, the violist Kyle Armbrust and Mr. Nicolas on cello. Driven by a sort of pastoral minimalism in which repetitive chugging sets the scene for lyrical melodies, it has an earthy beauty that may well arrive into its very own a lot more completely in a much less cluttered system.

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