Warsaw Autumn 2006 – V

Tonight’s concert was one of orchestral music at the Witold Lutoslawski Polish Radio Concert Studio.  It was our first time there and I think it may very well be one of the best halls I’ve been in.  The sound was just fantastic and of course it didn’t hurt that the orchestra that was performing were absolutely first rate (Sinfonia Varsovia).

The pieces tonight were:

  • Zbigniew Penherski – Little ‘Autumn’ Symphony
  • Andrzej Dobrowolski – Music for Strings, 2 Groups of Wind Instruments and 2 Loudspeakers
  • Krzysztof Penderecki – Canticum Canticorum Salomonis
  • Filippo Perocco – reCycle_Lacrimosa
  • Michel van der Aa – Here Trilogy (second movement, Here [in circles], third movement, Here [to be found])

Notes on the pieces:

Penherski – 1st movement: one large cresc-decresc, gorgeous colors, icy, reminded me of John Luther Adams somewhat,  beautiful chords and texture; 2nd movement: minimalist and tonal, reminiscent of John Adams, didn’t have the growth that 1st movement did but maybe started too big with nowhere to go?, overall very nice piece

Dobrowolski – excellent blending of tape and orchestra(one of the few successful pieces I’ve heard with electronics and live instruments), very tight performance, antiphonal effects worked, nice use of shaped aleatoric effects, very exciting piece

Penderecki – absolutely incredible performance, the chorus was phenomenal, just a great performance of a great piece, everything worked! (I think it was a counter-tenor who was singing, incredible!)

Perocco – very nice, solemn, variety of colors and textures, distant, very tasteful

van der Aa – enjoyed the singer’s voice (Sarah Leonard), some nice orchestra parts, the electronic parts (glitchy, artifacts) were completely distracting, the parts that were manipulated recordings worked at times; handling of electronics seemed clumsy; some nice ideas and nice string writing but overall found I left disappointed (had a lot of wonderful ingredients but with a few extra that didn’t work for me); perhaps should have been programmed first?

Some excellent orchestral music performed very well.  Sonorist elements work so well with an orchestra and especially in such a nice hall.  Incredibly happy to be here tonight (and also lamenting that there is nothing in the States like the Warsaw Autumn…)

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