The Public Domain

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
lennygoran
Posts: 13853
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

The Public Domain

Post by lennygoran » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:46 am

Gotta give the crowd credit for weathering the heat-we know all too well about our current heat as we've been working in the garden under very tough conditions. Regards, Len


Review: ‘The public domain’ Beats the Heat and Humidity

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI AUG. 14, 2016


Though the actual temperature hovered in the mid-90s late Saturday afternoon in New York, the “feels like” indicator on weather sites put the figure at 105 degrees. Even so, the premiere of David Lang’s “the public domain,” his new work for 1,000 voices, went on as planned in the main plaza of Lincoln Center. Arriving for the performance, I was certain that the volunteer choristers who had rehearsed the piece so thoroughly would show up. But would anyone else?

How could I have doubted the intrepid determination of music-loving New Yorkers? By the time the singers had taken their places around the fountain, an audience of roughly 2,000, according to the Lincoln Center security team, had arrived, despite the sweltering humidity. True to its title, “the public domain” was an inspiring outdoor musical event; it also proved an intricate, rich musical composition.

This was the first of three events courtesy of the Mostly Mozart Festival on Saturday. The evening continued with the pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane performing three Mozart concertos with the festival orchestra at David Geffen Hall; it concluded with a late-night recital at the intimate Kaplan Penthouse by the thoughtful Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan.

For “the public domain” Mr. Lang chose a subject that might seemed doomed to cliché: what “we all share with each other,” as he wrote in an introduction, the things “we all need, and need from each other.” Yet, he explores this idealized theme powerfully in his stirring piece.


[ The sheer scale of David Lang’s “the public domain” can be hard to fathom ]

For a text, he crowd-sourced a statement to internet search engines: “One thing we all have is our … ”, then chose the most affecting responses, like “our design,” “our pain,” “our free will and the power to choose.” Groups of 20 to 50 singers, each with its own leader, were additionally collected into five strands of some 200 members. The piece, lasting about 40 minutes, was structured in 12 sections. Mr. Lang had publicly recommended that audience members, to better feel part of “the public domain,” mingle among the singers during the performance. Most people did. I listened from the outdoor balcony of David Geffen Hall. Though this kept me a little apart, I was better able to take in the musical sweep of the piece and observe this exhilarating public event.

Mr. Lang smartly figured out what kinds of musical elements could be easily performed by groups that included trained and untrained singers, and would sound effective sung by so many voices in an outdoor space. The piece begins ritualistically with murmuring, drones and sustained intervals. The voices first speak various phrases, including “our struggle to figure out our lives.” As it unfolds, the sections become more melodic; mini-lyrical phrases charmingly juxtapose “our love of music” with “our favorite sandwich.” A passionate episode is driven by short bursts of alternating chords that gain thickness in subsequent sections. A restless section full of sputtered outbursts leads to a frenetic episode involving clapping. Long sustained harmonies that crescendo and subside bring the piece to end, as the singers finally speak the texts softly and fade out.

At the conclusion, all the performers and listeners cheered one another. There were shout-outs for Simon Halsey, the conductor of the performance, who walked around the rim of the fountain giving cues until the final sections, which he directed from the balcony of Geffen Hall; Annie-B Parson, who devised crucial movements and gestures for the singers; and the beaming composer. This demonstration of commonality could not have come at a better time, given the fractious, divisive national election. It was a great day to be a New Yorker.

The festival orchestra concert, in its own way, offered testimony to the communal benefits of collectivism. Conducting three concertos from the keyboard, Mr. Kahane seemed less the star soloist than the empowering leader of a collaboration among gifted, eager artists. The program offered Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C (K. 467), No. 24 in C minor (K. 491), and No. 22 in E-flat (K. 482). Favoring fleet tempos, Mr. Kahane played with impetuous energy and wonderful naturalness.

At the penthouse later that night, Mr. Barnatan showed why he is one of the most admired pianists of his generation. He spoke to the audience about the heritage of the Baroque keyboard suite, then played his own reinvented one, which lasted nearly an hour. Beginning with a chaconne by Handel, he segued without break into various movements from suites and shorter pieces by Bach, Rameau and Couperin, followed by Ravel’s “Rigaudon” (from Ravel’s suite in tribute to Couperin). This led effectively to the premiere of a set of variations by Thomas Ades, music drawn from his new opera, “The Exterminating Angel,” which just had its premiere in Salzburg, Austria. Then, after two “Musica ricercata” by Ligeti, Mr. Barnatan ended with the colossal fugue that concludes Barber’s 1949 Piano Sonata.

He played everything brilliantly. By bringing together composers from Bach to Barber who spanned three centuries, Mr. Barnatan created an historical public domain for his rapt listeners.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/arts/ ... collection

Wallingford
Posts: 4525
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Re: The Public Domain

Post by Wallingford » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:53 pm

Hmmm, interesting.....YouTube just removed a video I'd had posted these last 4 years, of an old RCA 78 recording of the Chicago Symphony led by Desire Defaux.

Guess it's not public domain.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 21 guests