A friend and I made our way to the MoMA this past Sunday to check out the “FREE” Summergarden Music Series, Juilliard Concert I: New Music for Mixed Ensembles. <Did you hear me? I said FREE! As in no tix required 🙂 Lovely event as you can imagine, a quiet evening in the city, not much traffic noise, and an intimate ensemble of wind, strings and percussion set up on the garden steps just under the large rose sculpture. Somebody pinch me, I think I’m geeking into Frasier Crane! lol
Seriously, my best advice for events like this is to get there early, we actually showed up 2 hours early hoping to walk around the museum for a bit only to discover that the museum was closed to the public and the line to get into the Summergarden had already begun. After assigning ourselves to go forth and join the line, it paid off in the end because it allowed us to sit in my favorite spot for classical music performances, in the front row behind first violin 🙂 mwhahahaha!
The selections for the performance were modern and fresh, featuring New York premieres like Henrik Strindberg’s 4 movement piece Once Child (2013) and a fabulous Solo Viola (Meredith Treaster) piece by Donald Crockett titled, to airy thiness beat (2009)
Many of you know my thoughts about classical music’s rhythmic overlap with hardcore heavy metal, and I found the symphonic sounds of this evening no different. To sum up the performances in one word, I claim Angst was the overall theme. Riveting sounds of strings on alarm and then brushing away into sudden quiet, musicians pushing themselves beyond staccato to pull sounds from their instruments in avant garde places such as the finger boards, knocking on wood with hand knuckles, or tapping flutes against other objects.
It’s also great to begin recognizing faces in this scene. Many of the young musicians performing also played key roles in the Chamber performances last month during the Chelsea Music Festival. I look forward to checking out the next Summergarden performance, July 13th featuring a Jazz concert of the Jonathan Ragonese Ensemble. I heard that a tap dancer is scheduled to perform as well! xoxo