Tag Archives: David Bloom

Contemporaneous performs Brian Petuch’s Portrait and a Dream

Jackson Pollack, Portrait and a Dream (1953)

Contemporaneous is in top form, the singers are stupendous, and Petuch’s opera is outstanding, with his text choices as brilliant as his compositional approach. Watching this made my day, and I hope it may do the same for you.

“Portrait and a Dream [is] an opera about Jackson Pollock told through the lens of Lee Krasner and archival recordings of the people who surrounded his life.” [cite]

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Bringing in Spring with Shawn Jaeger’s The Cold Pane

Shawn Jaeger, photo by Arthur Moeller

Shawn Jaeger‘s The Cold Pane is an exquisite summoning of spring. Jaeger’s composition sets five texts by Wendell Berry. They can be found here, together with the score. The piece is scored for soprano and chamber ensemble (clarinet in B-flat, mandolin, violin, double bass). The performers are Contemporaneous members Lucy Dhegrae, Vicente Alexim (clarinet), Colin Davin (mandolin), Josh Henderson (violin), and Pat Swoboda (double bass). David Bloom conducts.

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Transcendental Geometry: Contemporaneous at Murray’s 2017

It was a stroke of luck to have happened on Contemporaneous when the ensemble was still at Bard and barely six months old. That was in 2010, and it’s an ongoing cause for celebration that this treasurable rara avis, a chamber orchestra dedicated solely to new music, has not only survived, but is thriving today. Over that time, as Contemporaneous continues to amass significant musical accomplishments, we, as listeners, reap the benefit in an ongoing series of musical gifts. The April 15, 2017, concert at Murray’s in Tivoli was but the latest in a long, glittering string. Continue reading

Spaghetti Western: Contemporaneous in the Spiegeltent

Contemporaneous in the Spiegeltent, warming up for the concert

Contemporaneous in the Spiegeltent, warming up for the concert

It is a measure of the power of music, in the hands of Contemporaneous, that the silly season engulfing us decamped, wholly vanquished, within the first bars of Vicenti Alexim’s adroit arrangement of Ennio Morricone’s Il triello. The occasion was Contemporaneous’s appearance at Bard’s Summer Music Festival, the focus of which this year is “Puccini and His World.” Continue reading

Visual Music: Contemporaneous at Murray’s Sanctuary

The Sanctuary at Murray's February 12, 2016

The Sanctuary at Murray’s February 12, 2016

On Thursday, February 11, 2016, Contemporaneous, the new music chamber orchestra that now makes its home in New York City, presented its program, Laws of Nature, in an incredibly cool-looking Brooklyn venue, Pioneer Works. The next night, to my grateful hosannas, Contemporaneous came home to the Hudson Valley—to Tivoli, a stone’s throw from Bard College, where the orchestra’s life began. Tivoli is one of those small Hudson Valley villages of unassuming, arty charm. I’ve visited its main street eateries, shops, and gallery many times, yet I hadn’t known about Murray’s, a former church converted into a concert space, café, and art gallery, and let me tell you, as soon as I walked in the door, I was ready to move in. Continue reading