Monday, July 12, 2010

Busy in Brevard: Music Stuff

A couple of weeks ago, Bob Aldridge gave his Brevard Music Institute composition students the same assignment, to set Walt Whitman's "When the Dazzle of Day is Gone." Last Thursday, he hosted an afternoon concert of the results.

If there was a time when young composers were afraid to write a triad, that time is long gone. In fact, I get the distinct impression that these Brevardians were deliberately avoiding anything that would mark them as "inaccessible." I heard some Barber, some Broadway, and some Blue.

On Saturday night, the college students joined up with their teachers for a bang-up Heldenleben. WDAV broadcast this last Sunday, plugging Kalichstein's Schumann Concerto. But that was a real disappointment. The orchestra was great, but the pianist just wasn't prepared. If you can, skip it and listen to the Strauss online.

The high school students at Brevard showed their stuff Sunday afternoon, starting their concert with Joan Tower's Made in America. Someone at the festival called this a "dark depiction" of our country, but this performance was full of optimistic energy.

Joe Schwantner wrote the second piece in the Ford Made in America program, and took it around the country the last two seasons. Let's hope Keith Lockhart brings this piece to Brevard as well soon.