Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Works for viola" @ Spectrum

This months cover design by Aleksandar Ares,
layout by K.K.W
Eric Huebner

"Works for Viola" @ Spectrum, with Max Mandel & Eric Huebner. Article & photos by K.K.W
Contemporary composer Michael Vincent Waller.
Waller is a seriously gifted composer ("protege of Bunita Marcus") who excels at arranging musical events with contemporary classical talents, that's always stunning.

The program image of "Works for viola"-"composition avec grille 2" (1918) by Piet Mondrian- at once representing ordered structure and a straight forward interaction of lines and geometric shapes, is like a visual opposite of the beautiful, intricate music that evening.

Intriguing in its sublime complexity, each piece flowed and radiated from the performers (both with amazing skill) to the audience, like a graceful unpredictable wind. And yet there was method to their musical madness, a wonderful order that arose from both delicate simplicity, and a hint(s) of chaos not unlike Beethoven. 

Of all the pieces that evening (Stravinsky: Elegy, Tom Chiu: BABIP, Iannis Xenakis: Embellie, Morton Feldman: The Viola in My Life III, Salvatore Sciarrino: Tre notturni brillianti & Paul Hindemith: Sonata for solo viola, Op.25 No.1) it  was Waller's Capo Finale that stole the show. Deeply moving, soulful and somber, it was captivating in its subtle complexity. Its a new work for viola and piano, wonderfully performed by and written for, Mandel & Huebner. The piece grips you with its post-minimalist patterns and modal harmonies. The finale was written in the wake of the recent natural disaster, hurricane "Sandy". Its penultimate section is entitled Threnody to the Victims of Hurricane Sandy. The performance was dedicated to that cause.

All in all it was a wonderful evening at Spectrum, with excellent music, people and great beer & wine. Stop in sometime. Cheers! 

Max Mandel, arguably one of the best.

If you would like to know more, go Spectrum a musical venue located in the L.E.S (lower east side of Manhattan), dedicated to varied musical performance's, and starting in 2013, visual art as well. The space is operated by Glenn Cornett, with Lawrence De Martin in charge of sound (he created specially designed speakers for electro-acoustic performances)    "Art is the reason, art is the way"

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