The latest Utah Symphony live performance as soon as once more evidenced an eclectic, compact, progressive strategy to programming which, on this occasion, delivered the orchestra’s first performances of two works from 1998 and 2011, respectively.
The sensible staging logistics made for a fast transition from Elliott Carter’s Double Trio, which the composer wrote simply forward of his 103rd birthday in 2011, and 5 alternatives from Wynton Marsalis’ A Fiddler’s Story, a jazz-inflected homage to Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Story.
Certainly, the pandemic-related precautions have produced some nice bonuses as a result of in any other case these two small-scale works doubtless wouldn’t be programmed in an Abravanel Corridor live performance.
As conductor, Thierry Fischer set the tone for a lot of pleasant moments. Carter’s piece, which premiered 10 years in the past at a live performance on the Montreal Museum of Tremendous Arts in honor of a brand new live performance corridor, is a superb starter for listeners who’re simply being launched to this composer’s prodigious output.
Operating eight minutes, the piece signifies Carter’s signature fashion of streamlining and juxtaposing impressionism, neo- and retro-expressionism and modernism right into a cogent exploration of fragile textures but in addition resilient constructions of sound. The mix of solo strings with trumpet and trombone may bedevil an ensemble’s efforts to stability the writing, which exudes the aesthetic of vulnerability because the music weaves by way of varied harmonic constructions and textures. However, Fischer leads the ensemble to very satisfying outcomes. The very best moments pit muted brass devices towards stringed instrument results equivalent to slamming pizzicato and double-stops with scraping sound. Certainly, at 103, Carter bought to the purpose clearly and rapidly.
Marsalis’s piece makes use of the identical septet instrumentation as Stravinsky’s work. Music historical past college students know the Stravinsky piece, based mostly on a Russian people narrative and written throughout WW1, as one of many earliest expressions of jazz in a contemporary classical piece. The actions within the Marsalis piece parallel its predecessor. Like Stravinsky, Marsalis included a libretto (written by Stanley Crouch) however it’s omitted for this efficiency. Whereas the music isn’t as pioneering as within the Stravinsky piece, it nonetheless is wealthy in imagining the characters and the story by itself advantage. It’s a miniature showcase for the musicians and the breakout swing to jazz within the final choice comes off with the precise punch.
As bookends for this live performance, there was Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. Madeline Adkins and Claude Halter shine as soloists in a studying that clipped alongside at appropriately brisk tempi, which lightened successfully the ensemble to supply an beautiful stability between the soloists and the strings and harpsichord. Fischer’s lead within the Wagner traditional produced the splendid sounds that certainly will entice audiences again to the corridor when the complete symphonic forces lastly will return to the stage subsequent season.
These concert events, which run a bit longer than an hour and don’t have any intermission, have been programmed with good aims. They introduce audiences to instructive mixes of classical favorites and fewer acquainted up to date repertoire, sparking an expansive appreciation of the stylistic and aesthetic ranges. Moreover, they reinforce the prevailing judgment of the excellent musicianship within the Symphony, which has superior considerably below Fischer’s tenure.
For details about Could concert events, see the Utah Symphony website.