SICPP Review

From The Boston Globe:

How to generalize a 36-piece, eight-hour sweep? Much of the program seemed compositionally less concerned with advocating particular vocabularies (tonal/atonal) or concepts (minimalism/serialism) than with exploring the means of production, the various orthodox and unorthodox ways instruments can make noise. Results were often mobile-like, artfully arranged rather than intensely plotted. Flutist Ashley Addington and guitarist Mark Wilson deftly placed the stop-and-go Impressionism of Toru Takemitsu’s “Toward the Sea.’’ Karlheinz Stockhausen’s “Refrain’’ uses the decay of vibraphone, celesta, and piano (John Andress, Christopher Lim, and Stephen Olsen) to chart loose, ringing constellations. Lukas Foss’s “Ni bruit ni vitesse’’ explores the far reaches of two pianos – Lim and Leah Kosch at the keyboards, percussionists Victoria Aschheim and Masako Kunimoto working inside the instruments’ cases – and the combination of clanging, buzzing, and slow-rolling scales was mysterious and magical.

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RIP Lukas Foss

Composer Lukas Foss has passed on.

Lukas Foss, a prolific and versatile composer who was also a respected pianist and conductor, died at his home in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 86, and also had a home in Bridgehampton, N.Y. His wife, Cornelia, announced his death.

Although he was a German émigré, Mr. Foss was, from the start of his composing career, considered an important voice in the burgeoning world of American composition, along with Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter and Leonard Bernstein. And like Bernstein, he enthusiastically championed the works of his colleagues. But where Bernstein, in his compositions, melded jazz and theater music with a lush symphonic neo-Romanticism — or wrote theater music outright — Mr. Foss preferred to explore the byways of the avant-garde, focusing at different times on techniques from serialism and electronic music to Minimalism and improvisation.

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