Sunday, March 7, 2010

Curtis Institute of Music - Ligeti, Messiaen, Barber, Kovacs & Hindermith - 03/07/10

Ligeti: Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet
Messiaen: "Appel interstellaire" from Des Canyons aux Etoiles
Barber: Summer music for Wind Quintet
Kovacs: Hommage de Manuel de Falla
Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik for Wind Quintet, Op. 24

After the four sprawling hours of "War and Peace" wrapped up at 5:45 PM, I was questioning the sanity of going straight to the Millennium Stage upstairs for what would be my last concert of the "Conservatory Series" at 6:00 PM. But I was right there and those young kids had been amazing so far, so why not? The list of internationally famous musicians who have graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music is one of the most impressive around. Just during the last few years its alumni have included Hilary Hahn, Lang Lang, Juan Diego Flores, Alan Gilbert and Jennifer Higdeon. Their program featured modern composers and wind instruments, which would be a double negative for me, but then again, why not?

The Six Bagatelles by Ligeti were just that, six very short and innocuous pieces.
Messiaen's "Appel Interstellaire" sure sounded like coming from outer space, but I have to say that it takes more than a horn solo for me to see stars, never mind that Corey Klein was a very committed young man.
Barber's Summer Music was a breath of fresh air and a pleasant prelude to warmer seasons, the various instruments playfully evoking carefree times.
Kovacs' clarinet solo was lovely thanks to Ruokai Chen's sheer eagerness.
The Kleine Kammermusik by Hindemith brought back the same quintet as Barber's Summer Music, and they displayed the same youthful enthusiasm as previously.

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