Blogger Updates

RSS Christian Carey

RSS Jay C. Batzner

RSS Lawrence Dillon

CD Reviews


Cast and Crew

Editor:
Steve Layton

Managing Editor

Christian Carey

Contributing Editors:
Galen H. Brown

Chris Becker
Armando Bayolo
Garrett Schumann
Wes Flinn
Rob Deemer
Paul Bailey
Polly Moller
Ilona Oltuski
Elliot Cole
Ed Lawes
Scott Unrein
Iván Sparrow
James Holt
Lanier Sammons
Rodney Lister
Jerry Zinser

Zookeeper:   
Jerry Bowles
(212) 582-3791

Founding Publisher:
Duane Harper Grant

Send Review CDs to:
Chrisitan Carey
218 Augusta Street
South Amboy NJ 08879




Featured Release


BRIDGE
3 Disks
For Christian Wolff
Morton Feldman
California Ear Unit

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

Music Blogs

.............................


Listen Online:

RSS Scott Unrein’s Nonpop Podcast


Kalvos & Damian!
& Noizepunk and Das Krooner

The longest-running New & Nonpop music program on the web.

Counterstream Radio
Streaming radio from New Music USA.

Q2 Music - WQXR
New York-based online station devoted to the music of living composers.

Admin

New Paths: An Hispanic Festival

Enrico Chapela. Photo credit: Bernd Uhlig

New New Paths in Music presents

An Hispanic Festival

Elebash Recital Hall

Graduate Center – CUNY

New York

On Friday June 5th, New Paths in Music presented a concert of composers from Mexico, Argentina, and Spain: two of each. While the program centered around national identities, it contained music in disparate styles and for varying forces. DAVID ALAN MILLER, conductor of the Albany Symphony, led the New Paths Ensemble, a chamber orchestra of crackerjack contemporary players from the New York area.


ENRICO CHAPELA’S “Irrational Music” was a perfect curtain-raiser. The piece is based on Chapela’s explorations of irrational numbers; but this was in no way indicative of a dry or cerebral surface. On the contrary, “Irrational Music” pulsates with vibrant energy. Its frequent time changes and energetic tutti pileups were deftly negotiated by New Paths. What’s more, Chapela’s music set the stage for the rest of the concert; serving as a foreshadowing of elements grappled with throughout the concert. The evening was often about music of deft negotiations – balancing massed orchestration versus delicate linear writing and intricate metric shifts with visceral “dancing” rhythms.


Colliding Moments” by ALEJANDRO VIÑAO, was for a smaller subunit of the ensemble. Composed for a 2005 concert in Paris, its chamber textures exhibited a Francophilic ambience. Some of the flourishes played by Christopher Oldfather were reminiscent of Messiaen, while violinist Sunghae Anna Lin, flutist Valerie Coleman, and clarinetist Alan Kay were given Impressionist solo turns. Viñao’s work also demonstrates a supple, varied metric layout; but it is a piece one’s likely to remember for delicate pirouettes rather than colliding timescales.


Spanish composer DAVID DEL PUERTO is also a guitarist; his knowledge of the intricacies of the instrument’s capabilities were well-displayed in Zephyr.” A guitar concerto cast in a single movement, with fast-slow-fast subsections, it was a delightful showcase for the excellent soloist OREN FADER. Del Puerto excelled at making space in the orchestration for Fader’s solos, supplying fleet scalar passages as well as a central section of considerably supple lyricism. That said, there was plenty for the ensemble in the piece as well; transparent accompaniments were contrasted with powerful verticals. Once again, there was a marked emphasis on frequent, fluidly rendered time changes. “Zephyr” is a persuasive, attractive work; one hopes Fader keeps it in his repertoire.


GABRIEL ERKOREKA’S “Trance” draws upon American trance films as a touchstone, likening their post-surrealistic tone and simulated dream states to the piece’s musical explorations. The result was a tempestuous, expressionist, and volatile tone poem, more illustrative of disordered sleep than the meditative or transported states one often associates with trance in popular culture.

More appealing was GABRIELA ORTIZ’S “Amber Stained Glass Windows.” The piece charts the trajectory of a Monarch butterfly, migrating from the composer’s native Mexico to Montreal. Ortiz is a skillful orchestrator, creating limpid, shimmering textures that made particularly fine use of New Path percussionist John Ferrari’s formidable virtuosity. Miller deserves mega-kudos for preserving abundant clarity in this challenging piece.


Argentinean composer ESTEBAN BENZECRY was fortunate to have violinist ROLF SCHULTE performing the solo part in his “Evocations of a Lost World.” Schulte’s nimble execution of dizzying passage work and his ever present flair for the dramatic helped to distract from Benzecry’s frequently mawkish orchestration. Tribal “drums of death” and overblown winds, designed to be evocative of folk materials, instead gave the concert’s closer a bombastic, hackneyed flavor.


Still, the New Paths Hispanic Festival had a lot going for it; dedicated performances, stylistic diversity, and a program featuring several composers who deserve to be better known stateside.

Comments

Comment from Alan S. Oser
Time: June 15, 2009, 7:46 pm

As the chairman of New Paths in Music Inc., the nonprofit organization that presented “An Hispanic Festival” at Elebash Recital Hall on June 5, I want to express my appreciation for the thoughtful review by Dr. Christian Carey in Sequenza21. Our mission is to give recognition in the U.S. to living foreign composers who have had little if any. Your attention to the event assists that cause. Thank you very much.

Comment from Steven Montgomery
Time: June 25, 2009, 7:26 am

I agree that the New Paths Hispanic Festival had a lot going for it. I attended the event – the music was brilliant and had great impact. I was so excited, I felt like jumping out of my chair! I especially liked “Irrational Music” and “Evocation of a Lost World.” David Alan Miller did an exceptionally fine job, including in his speaking to the audience about the new works in the tradition of Leonard Bernstein.