Of the three spoken tributes I heard, Paul Lansky’s memories of an undergraduate theory class at Queens taught by the young Perle were the most amusing and touching.
And the discovery of the program was Perle’s Six Celebratory Inventions, performed by pianist Michael Brown. Clever, understated, witty – top-drawer stuff.
Aside from that, it was bracing to look around the audience and see a roll-call of new music’s old guard. They’ve been kicked around a lot for the last thirty years, so I was happy to see them having a well-deserved moment to share with one another. And I was thankful that the remarkable man George Perle seems to have been made it possible for me to see them gathered.
I was sorry, though, that I had to miss the Daedalus Quartet performance, which came last. But I made up for it by rehearsing with them, along with Benjamin Hochman, yesterday afternoon. I got soaked walking in a downpour from the A-train to the rehearsal, but their preparation and enthusiasm quickly made me feel all warm and cozy. Tomorrow we’ll head to the Academy to record, before I catch a late-night flight back to North Carolina.