The photographs of Central Park in New York City were taken in early June. All who could were out to make the most of a beautiful day in what I choose to think of as the people’s park.
Two recent CD purchases are offering me countless hours of delight, and I’ve been eager to share the news.
I think every work ends with dot, dot, dot. It disturbs me that my chosen medium—music—is expected to end.
Violin Concerto No. 2 (2003), Clair de Lune (2007), and The Past, The Passion (1987) (To listen on Spotify, click here.)
Tsontakis’s Violin Concerto No. 2 easily stands with the finest of contemporary violin concerti and deserves to be performed as often and as widely as that suggests. I’m not alone in holding this work in high esteem: it won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in 2005. Awards are, of course, not the sine qua non of indicators; rather, the final judgment must rest with each of pair listening ears. To my ears, every work on this CD is a multi-faceted jewel. Bruce Hodges’s excellent review of the CD may be found here.
I dance only privately, and in my head.
Sarah Cahill, whose elegant pianism reminds me of no one so much as Marian McPartland, commissioned many of the pieces on this CD and performs several of them, including the six Private Dances (2000-2004), Time Does Not Exist (2000), and On Reading Emerson (2006). Every work on the CD is attractive and intelligent in equal measure. Two that caught my particular attention are Time Does Not Exist and On Reading Emerson.
In Time Does Not Exist, the interplay of delicate musical fragments creates an alluring, elusive architecture. Gann wrote of the work, “The piece is about therapy, conceived as the spiraling inward path described by James Hillman, in which one keeps traversing the same territory, only a little different each time.” [CD liner notes] On Reading Emerson, replete with appealing harmonic collisions, is not, as Gann has noted, characteristic of his work—for one thing, he “used, for the first time in my life, a 12-tone row.” [CD liner notes]
Credits: The header quotations from Tsontakis and Gann are from the respective CD liner notes. The remaining quotations are from the sources linked, or where online sources are not available, noted in the text. The photographs, as always unless otherwise indicated, are mine.