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Last week the pianist Robert Levin and condutor Rober Spano performed a newly commissioned work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra by the composer Yehudi Wyner. In the interests of full disclosure, I do know the composer personally and I admire the few pieces that I have heard by him. Nevertheless, what I have to say about the new piece is not entirely subjective.
The previous evening I had attended the Boston Modern Orchestra project's concert entitled "Minimalism." So, I was naturally expecting something quite different from the earlier evening's concert. We have all attended concerts with high hopes that we would encounter something new that perhaps would produce a long-lasting and memorable experience. The Boston Symphony concert produced something even more shocking: a first-class masterpiece by a living composer.
What was so good about it? Well, besides the extraordinary, clear dramatic profile, the elegance of design, the sense that the musical material was comensurate with its length and development, the musical narrative was surprising and inevitable. Many of these wonderful qualities (including the novel orchestration) may be attributed to the idiomatic writing for the piano and the overall quality of the counterpoint. In addition, the composer paid the greatest compliment to the audience by rewarding them for paying attention.
posted by Larry Thomas Bell