vcme: 2NewToo

Program:

David Ludwig: Haiku Catharsis
David Feurzeig: Fauxbourdon (hommage à Dufay)
Thomas Read: What Story Awaits Its End
György Ligeti: Etudes for Piano
Nicolas Chlebak: The Consuming Bog
David Feurzeig: Fauxbourdon (hommage à Dufay) – (the Ensemble played this in both halves of the program – nice!)
David Feurzeig: Stride Right

The Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble continues to champion the newest of newly written works, and the current program – 2NewToo – features three premieres.

I really enjoyed the lineup, and the program offered such a fresh array of sounds I can’t imagine anyone having the opportunity to walk away disappointed.

From the lonely metallic overtones of the bowed vibraphone that opened the show (with something like a violin bow but larger and stringier) in Ludwig’s Haiku Catharsis to the flashes of fragmented harmonic brilliance illuminating Fauxburdon, Feurzig’s homage to French master Guillaume Dufay, the concert offered a rewarding stroll through an imaginative sonic garden.

Michael Arnowitt gave a characteristically insightful performance of Ligeti’s Etudes (five, taken from Books 1 & 2) including the starkly radiant Arc en Ciel; and the triads permeating Read’s new piece cast a comforting glow of tonal warmth in an otherwise disquieting landscape. It was also a pleasure to hear how the young composer Nicolas Chlebak realized his vision of nocturnal misadventure in the The Consuming Bog, an eerily serene vignette carried along by ominous undercurrents.

I liked what Thomas Read said, in describing his composing approach: “I open the box and shake out all the pieces to see how they can be reassembled in an interesting way.”

The VCME is Steven Klimowski, clarinets; Laurel Ann Maurer, flutes; Bonnie Thurber Klimowski, cello; Thomas Read, violin; David Feurzeig, piano; with special guest pianist Michael Arnowitt for this performance. The second of the two “2 New Too” performances is happening tonight at the McCarthy Arts Center at St. Michael’s College, 8pm.

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