But what I would like to emphasize here is that Dinu Ghezzo is, beyond his duties as an educator, an important composer, whose music is published both in Europe and in the U.S. and has been presented in major venues throughout the world, from Los Angeles to Tokyo to Helsinki, and has been critically acclaimed as â€œstartlingly beautifulâ€, â€œhauntingâ€, â€œexuberantâ€, â€œstrikingâ€, which does not begin to describe the unique style of his work. From a postmodern perspective, Dinu Ghezzoâ€™s music encompasses and transcends the musics of his time, from Eastern European folk song to post-serialism, aleatory composition, experimental techniques such as prepared piano which he uses to perfection, to post-minimalism and onward. But ultimately, it has soul, and thatâ€™s why it touches me. Last fall I heard a clarinet and piano piece by him, Aphorisms (brilliantly performed by Esther Lamneck and Marilyn Nonken) and months later, I find I still try to recall its mood.
Talking about feelings â€“ even though Dinuâ€™s concert was planned for months in advance, upon the passing of his good friend and member of the NYU faculty, Ron Mazurek (which took place a couple of days before the event), he was compelled at the very last minute to change the entire program to include some of Mazurekâ€™s compositions: Rockaby, for voice and piano, and Satori, for clarinet and tape. I found this very touching and most generous. At various points in the concert, we were surprised by the appearance of a Romanian folk singer in traditional costume, performing Dinuâ€™s just-finished Easter Laments in memory of his old friend; that was truly heartbreaking.
Dinu Ghezzoâ€™s other pieces on this concert included: Shadow Dances, an exciting orchestral piece which he conducted; Doina, a semi-improvisational piece from 1998 featuring Christine Ghezzo, a lovely modern-voice soprano; Music for Flutes and Tape (Wendy Luck performer); Imaginary Voyages, for clarinet, piano and cello (Esther Lamneck, Dan Barrett and Marilyn Nonken performers).
Other features on the program included Joseph Pehrsonâ€™s electronic work Microproj, with a sparkling and unexpected choreography by his wife, Linda Past; and a new work by John Gilbert, Becoming Cassandra, including state-of-the-art media.