Monday, October 31, 2005

Golijov links

My father saw Ainadamar this summer, and, well, he didn’t love it. He certainly wasn’t alone; a piece like that is bound to get mixed reviews. I do not fault him in any way, but I think he was afraid to tell me he didn’t like it! It can be hard to tell someone that you’re just not that into something they love (and I do love this piece). But music is subjuctive, and I am comfortable with that.

It stands to reason, then, that he was nervous about La Pasion. He and Mom are planning to come to the London performance, using it as an excuse to finally get back to Germany (where we lived for three years and where they still have good friends). I know it is a father’s job to come to a child’s performances and clap and be proud, whether he likes it or not, but it is much more enjoyable for all involved when he does like it! So imagine his relief when he (finally) listened to the CD of La Pasion that I leant him this summer – and loved it! He liked the Latin musical influences, and appreciated the folk song elements. Here’s what he had to say about that: I found the use of folk themes appropriate, as I know JSB was influenced by German folk music - it's just that we have heard it played by 60-piece orchestras so long that we call it classical. How cool is that!! My dad, the musicologist. I love it.

(La Pasion segun San Marcos was commissioned by the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Bach’s death. Four composers – Osvaldo, Tan Dun, Wolfgang Rihm, and Sofia Gubaidulina – were each commissioned to write a “passion,” a musical setting of the story of Christ’s arrest and crucifixion. I’ve only heard Osvaldo’s, but imagine it was a fascinating series of concerts, hearing the way these four people interpreted this ancient story.)

I’m heading off to Atlanta this weekend for three performances and a recording of Ainadamar, so I thought I’d collect a few “Osvaldo links” and post them here. If you don’t have plans to see any of the (many) performances of his works around the country, maybe this will inspire you. There is some great music being created. Dive in!


Alex Ross’s article and review of La Pasion, March 2001

A fun account of the West Coast premiere of La Pasion in 2002 from the perspective of one of the string players. I think this gives a bit of insight into what I can expect in February! “Both the Orquesta La Pasión and the Schola Cantorum de Caracas are fantastic, and the difference between them and the stuffy classical musicians (us) is really marked. I'm not saying that one is better than the othe: it's just interesting to watch.” And this: “I feel alive. I haven't felt such energy in a very long time.” How exciting…

Ionarts review of Ainadamar at Santa Fe (see the sidebar for more reviews, including articles from The New Yorker and the Washington Post.)

Review of Osvaldo’s newest (?) work, Ayre, performed in San Francisco by Dawn Upshaw and the Andalusian Dogs on October 23rd. I really want to sing this piece someday…

Interview with Osvaldo on The World radio program, focusing on Ayre.

And, of course, check out Osvaldo’s own site for articles and reviews of all these works.


Anonymous said...

I saw "Ayre" last spring and it was PHENOMENAL! The non-musician boyfriend hated it (he didn't like the barking) but being that Dawn is my ultimate favorite, it was hard for her to be anything but wonderful in my eyes.

The piece itself was just incredible (and the musicians were even more incredible!); commissioned as a companion piece to Berio's "Folk Songs," it was interesting to hear them performed in sequence. Your father might be interested to hear the folk influences in that piece. They're uncanny.

I hope you get to hear it soon. Have a safe and enjoyable trip in Atlanta.

ACB said...

Isn't it amazing? I heard it at Tanlgewood in 2004. And Dawn... such an incredible performer. She is 100% committed to every performance. Such an inspiration.

I had forgotten about the Berio connection. Wow, two incredible works... I've been looking for an excuse to work on the Berio Folksongs... Hmmm... =]

Anonymous said...

La Pasion is amazing. I'll tell you, though, a lot of people I know were offended by it when we saw it performed last summer. They perceived it as rejoicing to Jesus' death; I didn't see it that way at all. It's an amazing piece!

The Tan Dun Water Passion, btw, is also amazing visually and aurally. Elizabeth Keusch has really made a name doing his stuff in the US.

Chris said...

Interesting post. I'm going to be in the audience on Friday in Atlanta so look forward to hearing you then.

jonathan said...

My wife and I saw Ainadamar Friday night, it was the most moving musical performance I've ever seen (sitting in the second row didn't hurt). I wrote about it on my blog. I'm curious why your Dad didn't like it?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...