Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cleveland Chamber Symphony: October 25th

This afternoon I found myself at the Cleveland Chamber Symphony concert at the Music Settlement -- a first for both.

I went in with no expectations -- other than a generally vague understanding of how "Chamber Music" is different than other music. It turns out that that had little to do with the performance I was about to enjoy.

I was pleasantly surprised in most regards and the turnout was impressive; while not a large venue every seat and then some was occupied. The "Meet the Composer" format was interesting -- both to hear the composers' comments on their works and to hear questions from audience members.

Of the three pieces on the program, the 3rd and final movement of the 3rd piece (music director Steven Smith's String Quartet) was the one I found most enjoyable both in tempo and sound. Most interesting, to me, were the almost percussive sounds made among the four stringed instruments, but I'll get back to that.

Jing Jing Luo's Lagrimas Y Voces was a little too jarring and disjointed for my tastes but certainly exhibited some unusual methods of playing the instruments included in the piece, certainly pushing boundaries.

The first piece on the program, Frank Wiley's For Alexander Calder held my interest; the first two movements I could certainly visualize Alexander Calder's works... the 3rd movement I'm not so sure about. Wiley's comments after his piece certainly added value and understanding.

All in all it was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon and hear some music that's a little bit more adventurous and isn't a staple of "traditional" programming.

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