Things are going well with Monadnock Music: before Saturday’s concert kicked off, managing director Christopher Sink announced that the festival had cleared its financial debts as it heads into next year’s 50th anniversary season.
The emphasis of Monadnock’s coming concerts is, quite happily, American music by composers with strong ties to New England. It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate place to hear such fare or a better group of musicians to play it.
While 1962’s Symphony owes a clear debt to Stravinsky and Britten (especially its last movement), it sounds like nobody but Irving Fine. This is a score that orchestras ought to be lining up to play.
Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) have been on something of a recording tear of late.
For their debut on Sunday, Odyssey Opera and conductor Gil Rose could hardly have picked a more spectacular, unfamiliar epic than they did.
Musical quibbles aside, the performances on both albums from Boston Modern Music Project’s in-house label, BMOP/sound, are top-notch.
If you think contemporary music is the domain of fusty academics and has no bearing on (or relationship to) the outside world, you really need to check out “Canzonas Americanas.”
Ultimately, there’s a “look at my technique” quality to composer Lewis Spratlan’s writing in this piece that doesn’t match the musical content and that seems to be striving to be all things to all listeners.
Though there were differences in quality between the compositions in the BMOP concert, all of the pieces fulfilled the primary requirement of a concerto: they showed off the capabilities of the solo instrument in question, often memorably so.
The past week saw its New England premiere of “Maria Padilla,” and while it’s received mixed reviews in the press, no one could fault the singing. It’s just that it is a very strange opera, with all signs pointing towards a tragedy, but it all ends happily — for an opera, anyway.