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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Zeitgeist: Here and Now, Celebrating 30 Years of the New Music Ensemble with Two-CD Set

Mid-western USA may not always get the national press coverage it deserves for its cultural institutions, but it remains a vital hotbed in every sense of the term. Zeitgeist, for example, a new music quartet consisting of two percussionists (Heather Barringer and Patti Cudd), woodwinds (Pat O'Keefe) and piano (Shannon Wettstein), celebrates 30 years of continuous concertizing this year, yet here in the New York area they are not that well known.

The celebration is being marked by an adventuresome two-CD set Zeitgeist: Here and Now (Innova 799) that will enable all of us who might have missed them the chance to appreciate the breadth, scope and excellence of their music-making. The set includes 30 short compositions that exemplify the full range of concert music styles in the recent present, from the improvisational (Douglas Ewart) to the so-called postmodern (Philip Blackburn) and much in between.

It's an exhilarating, whirlwind trip through some very lively music, played with sensitivity and fire. I would think it a very good introduction to modern 21st century chamber music for those who want to understand what is going on right now. For anybody else it is a very rewarding listen, too. Take a look at the details on this one by clicking the Innova link on this page. An interesting, rather essential anthology!

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