Modern classical and avant garde concert music of the 20th and 21st centuries forms the primary focus of this blog. It is hoped that through the discussions a picture will emerge of modern music, its heritage, and what it means for us.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Bernard Rands, Vincent, Arthur Fagen, Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Chorus
All is handled with taste and appealing musical values, a healthy dash of modernism a la post-Wozzeck and a sure theatrical flair. I will confess that the idea of an opera rehashing the tragic life of the brilliant painter did not on first blush appeal to me. His life story has entered the pop-folk vernacular of the misunderstood artistic genius and in some ways given us a romantic myth that may provide a cautionary tale of how one can never be sure of talent when a great one could possibly be living among us, but otherwise perhaps justifies a kind of collective shrug of the shoulders when it comes to modernism and its supposed inscrutability.
Nonetheless I have immersed myself in the work and come out with a positive feeling about it. It is constructed with the sort of event arc conducive to gaining an absorbed audience attention. And in the end J. D. McClatchy's libretto meshes with the well-wrought score to maintain and grow the dynamic tension necessary to experience the life story and its very sad yet triumphant end points. There are brilliant moments that musically match the anguish of the main character.
Arthur Fagen, the effective soloists and the amassed Indiana University singers and musicians all give us a convincing and intense reading of the score.
This is a good one for you who want to keep abreast of developments in modern opera today.
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I believe that Einojuhani Rautavaara beat Rands to a Vincent van Gogh opera by nearly 25 years. Some of the music from that opera was then incorporated into Rautavaara's 6th Symphony composed in 1992.ReplyDelete
I believe that Einojuhani Rautavaara created a Vincent van Gogh opera nearly 25 years before Rands. Rautavaara incorporated excerpts into his 6th symphony (1992) much like Prokofiev did before and Aho has done subsequently.ReplyDelete