as the song says, it's hard out here for a pimp, it's especially hard
for the pimp who enjoys new-music concerts, of which there is the usual excess in New York this week. Thursday brings
seven ten of
them. 1) Alarm Will Sound jangles Zankel with a ferociously complex new Wolfgang Rihm score (Will Sound), Frank Zappa's Dog Breath Variations, John Cage's 0'00", Bernard Woma's Gyil Mambo, Derek Bermel's Three Rivers, part of John Cale's Kiss arranged for ensemble, and part of John Adams's electronic Hoodoo Zephyr also arranged for humans. 2) At Angel Orensanz, the brand-new Metropolis Ensemble presents a very enticing program of Copland's Quiet City, Britten's sublime Serenade (with tenor Daniel Neer), and David Schiff's jazz-inflected Singing in the Dark, with saxophone solos by Marty Ehrlich. (See a Classical Domain interview for more info.) 3) At Symphony Space, janus, a flute-harp-viola trio, plays a program of Debussy, Takemitsu, Dmitri Tymoczko, Caleb Burhans, Saariaho, Cenk Ergün, and Justinian Tamasuza. 4) At Tonic, Ensemble Dissonanzen from Italy offers various solo pieces by the great Giacinto Scelsi together with Marc Ribot's Scelsi Morning. 5) At Greenwich House Arts, electronic composer Carl Stone presents his new laptop landscape ATTARI. 6) On the jazz-classical divide, saxophonist Michael Attias and his trio Renku perform semi-notated, semi-improvised music at Issue Project Room in Gowanus, Brooklyn. 7) The brass section of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will play Raphael Mostel's haunting and hopeful Night and Dawn
at a benefit for the American Friends of the RCO at Landmark on the
Park, Central Park West at 76th St. Tickets are $90, but, well, dessert is included. 8) The SEM Ensemble reads recent scores and plays Morton Feldman's Why Patterns at their Willow Place Auditorium. 9) Ensemble Sospeso performs Richard Einhorn's score Voices of Light in conjunction with a showing of Carl Dreyer's silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc at the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center (also Friday night). 10) The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center plays works by Anthony Gatto, Keith Fitch, and David Rakowski.
Also this week, Simon Rattle conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra in the first performances of Feast During a Plague, a big new piece by Sofia Gubaidulina; in the same town, Richard Danielpour's Margaret Garner has its last performances at Opera Company of Philadelphia. On Saturday and Sunday in NYC, the wizardly pianist Margaret Leng Tan pursues a chess theme at Anthology Film Archives, presenting a John Cage world premiere — his Chess Pieces of 1944 — together with Vittorio Rieti's Chess Serenade and Michael Nyman's brand-new Pawn to King Four. There will also be surrealist films by Duchamp and Clair with live accompaniment. (Mode Records is hosting the concert; note their upcoming Xenakis evenings.) Counter)induction plays an all-Italian program at Tenri Cultural Institute on Friday night (more Scelsi). All weekend, John Adams takes a break from writing his new fairy-tale opera A Flowering Tree to host another In Your Ears festival at Carnegie; this year's edition includes a performance by Rinde Eckert, a jazz night with Dave Douglas, and an new-music afternoon with Nicolas Hodges, the St. Lawrence Quartet's Geoff Nuttall, and Derek Bermel. And, not to neglect the old music, BAM presents William Christie and Les Arts Florissants in Luc Bondy's production of Handel's Hercules, with the increasingly potent Joyce DiDonato as the doomed Dejanira. Warner has put out an excellent DVD of the production. For more, read Steve Smith.
— Boccherini, Fandango, Sinfonie, La Musica Notturna di Madrid, w/ Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations (AliaVox)
— Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Live in Ramallah (Warner)
— Daniel Lentz, On the Leopard Altar (Cold Blue)