The More Things Change by Kansas City favorite Ingrid Stölzel highlighted the opening concert of the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensembles 20th season Saturday night in Kansas City.
By JOHN HEUERTZ
Special to The Star
All seven pieces conveyed their composers intentions successfully. And all were beautifully played, as usual, by newEars stellar musicians.
Gilbert Galindos Divergent Escape is a long seven minutes, but of undeniable power Surrounded in chaos/In turmoil that is nearly unbearable-uncontrollable.
João Pedro Oliveiras Iris is practically neo-Romantic by comparison. Its a quintet for four acoustics and one electronic, and based on the Book of Revelation and on Olivier Messiens Quartet for the End of Time.
Oliveria writes that My work will not break with the past or confront it and there are many places in Iris where acoustic and electronic sounds intersect wonderfully, especially in its string writing.
Its very conservative music, with electronics. Once again, its been shown that Olivier Messiaen is one of the most fruitful apostles of modern music, and that he points strongly in a direction that is the right way forward for it.
Oliverias respect for the past also permeates Stölzels all-acoustic The More Things Change.
Sweet and wistful, with a distinct salon music feel, Stölzels music is familiar territory here, and over too soon. She says that the more things change, the more my desire for permanence increases and she gives eloquent voice to this sentiment in this enchanting music.
Dylan Schneiders Nocturne and Wake-Up Call is a nice little solo flute work. Its very atmospheric, very Quiet City, very enjoyable.
Mark Snyders Harvey conveys well his shock and incomprehension of the sheer, random brutality of the Harvey family murders in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia in 2005. Its a tribute to the human capacity to wrestle meaning and even beauty from evil.
On the other hand, Arthur Leverings jaunty, big-city Still Raining, Still Dreaming paid uptown homage to both Toru Takemitsu and Jimi Hendrix. Levering explored the dissolving boundary between acoustic and electronic sounds in an interesting way here: its all acoustic, but at times it sounds electronic.
Jonathan Pieslaks Prednisomnia is program music at its most pharmaceutical. Its like watching political conventions on TV, in that its all about sensing that ones mind is at times not fully under ones control.
Pieslaks ended with a delightful, beautifully executed musical joke. It was the perfect end to a perfect evening. What a great concert this was!