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Thread: The NY Philharmonic opens its first season under Jaap van Zweden

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Default The NY Philharmonic opens its first season under Jaap van Zweden

    Did anyone here attend the Philharmonic's opening night concert? The NY Times review included a 3-minute portion of Ashley Fure's Filament, which received its first performance. It made me think of the Talk Classical crowd, as it is the sort of atmospheric music that wouldn't raise an eyebrow these days as part of a movie score but is still considered cutting edge and by some controversial in a classical music concert. Ms. Fure needed to come up with Filament before Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho for it to be truly cutting edge, and she's way too young to have done that.

    Anthony Tommasini's comments about van Zweden were interesting. I've followed van Zweden's career since he was a teen-aged Juilliard violinist sensation and for me his musical personality hasn't changed one bit. He's passionate, he's energetic, he's forceful, he's virtuosic. Meticulous attention to subtle detail generally isn't his thing. We'll see how things go for him in the Big Apple.

    Edit: Here is the Tommasini review:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/a...-music-reviews
    Last edited by fluteman; Sep-22-2018 at 21:06.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    Did anyone here attend the Philharmonic's opening night concert? The NY Times review included a 3-minute portion of Ashley Fure's Filament, which received its first performance. It made me think of the Talk Classical crowd, as it is the sort of atmospheric music that wouldn't raise an eyebrow these days as part of a movie score but is still considered cutting edge and by some controversial in a classical music concert. Ms. Fure needed to come up with Filament before Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho for it to be truly cutting edge, and she's way too young to have done that.

    Anthony Tommasini's comments about van Zweden were interesting. I've followed van Zweden's career since he was a teen-aged Juilliard violinist sensation and for me his musical personality hasn't changed one bit. He's passionate, he's energetic, he's forceful, he's virtuosic. Meticulous attention to subtle detail generally isn't his thing. We'll see how things go for him in the Big Apple.
    I didn't attend. (I was across the plaza at the ballet.) But in August I did attend this.

    The following is from the NY Times review.

    In some ways, Ms. Fure’s vocabulary of dread-inducing noises is familiar: a panicky pulse, heavy distortion, muffled cries and amplified whispers, sustained dissonances. The production of them, however, was novel. Members of the International Contemporary Ensemble conjured sounds out of the otherwise inaudible vibrations of the subwoofers, placing nut shells or wind chimes onto trembling surfaces, upon which they began to rattle and jump. Cables suspended from the ceiling were pulled taut and bowed until they let loose low moans. A bassoon with its top end wrapped in foil emitted choked squeals. Two singers, holding megaphones against their mouths, slurped air in tiny gulps.

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    I didn't attend. (I was across the plaza at the ballet.) But in August I did attend this.

    The following is from the NY Times review.

    In some ways, Ms. Fure’s vocabulary of dread-inducing noises is familiar: a panicky pulse, heavy distortion, muffled cries and amplified whispers, sustained dissonances. The production of them, however, was novel. Members of the International Contemporary Ensemble conjured sounds out of the otherwise inaudible vibrations of the subwoofers, placing nut shells or wind chimes onto trembling surfaces, upon which they began to rattle and jump. Cables suspended from the ceiling were pulled taut and bowed until they let loose low moans. A bassoon with its top end wrapped in foil emitted choked squeals. Two singers, holding megaphones against their mouths, slurped air in tiny gulps.
    As I said, relatively tame stuff for a modern suspense / horror / science fiction move. And the Times and other critics have been positive about her. This from the Times in October 2017:

    In its American premiere this weekend at Montclair State University, the composer Ashley Fure’s “The Force of Things: An Opera for Objects” manages the tricky task of doing justice to opera history while also striving for truly fresh effects.

    Also, she nearly won the Pulitzer Prize last year. Maybe we'll have to coin a new term: musique noir. Though I'd say Filament, not least by virtue of being scored for a traditional symphony orchestra, is not as "out there" as other things she's done.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    As I said, relatively tame stuff for a modern suspense / horror / science fiction move. And the Times and other critics have been positive about her. This from the Times in October 2017:

    In its American premiere this weekend at Montclair State University, the composer Ashley Fure’s “The Force of Things: An Opera for Objects” manages the tricky task of doing justice to opera history while also striving for truly fresh effects.

    Also, she nearly won the Pulitzer Prize last year. Maybe we'll have to coin a new term: musique noir. Though I'd say Filament, not least by virtue of being scored for a traditional symphony orchestra, is not as "out there" as other things she's done.
    I'm sorry - did you attend it ("The Force of Things") as I did last month? It was much stranger than any film music I've ever heard.

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    I'm sorry - did you attend it ("The Force of Things") as I did last month? It was much stranger than any film music I've ever heard.
    No, my comment was based on what I'd heard of Filament. I'm sorry I missed the MSU concert, I've been to some good ones there. I'll have to listen to more of her work. But I've found generally with contemporary composers, when they write for the traditional symphony orchestra, it's often not as 'strange' as when they use more unconventional sound sources. That may partly be since strange sounds are more readily available from strange sources, but I think it's also because these composers think of the sonorities the symphony orchestra is traditionally best at producing when they write for that ensemble, however nontraditional their music may typically be.

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    No, my comment was based on what I'd heard of Filament. I'm sorry I missed the MSU concert, I've been to some good ones there. I'll have to listen to more of her work. But I've found generally with contemporary composers, when they write for the traditional symphony orchestra, it's often not as 'strange' as when they use more unconventional sound sources. That may partly be since strange sounds are more readily available from strange sources, but I think it's also because these composers think of the sonorities the symphony orchestra is traditionally best at producing when they write for that ensemble, however nontraditional their music may typically be.
    OK, now I've listened to two more of her pieces, Something to Hunt and Soma on youtube. Compare these with Ionisation, completed by Edgard Varese in 1931, and his Integrales from 1924. You may not like Fure's pieces, but as you can hear from these examples, they are much more familiar than strange.



    Last edited by fluteman; Sep-23-2018 at 16:31.

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