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Back in Blue

December 5, 2006 Uncategorized

The MSU Wind Symphony concert was particularly good this past Sunday. “Blink!” went really well, and sounded leagues better in the hall than it had in the rehearsal room (and also because I was actually sitting in front of the ensemble this time). The ending is a gorgeous, unexpected wash of sound, and is probably the most likely candidate for “I’m gonna steal some of that”…

The concert also featured a world premiere Piano Concerto by Ron Newman (no relation to Jonathan), performed with absolute confidence and skill by Deborah Moriarty. Both are faculty members at MSU. The first two movements held the most promise for me – the cadenza in the first movement had an engaging repeated left-hand bassline, while the right hand went nuts. The second movement’s opening was also striking, with a bare, solo motive in the clarinet, against the piano. The orchestrational contrast was welcome and inviting.

The concert closed with Donald Grantham’s “Southern Harmony” which I’d heard on recording, but never live. This was a great musical experience. Director Kevin Sedatole preceded each movement with eight singers presenting the song that forms its basis, which was a nice touch. The whole work was great, though the second and third movements captured my ear the most. The second movement, “Wondrous Love” even made me reconsider my approach to my current project…too early to tell yet what long-term effect it will have, though…

Apparently Joel received a few e-mails about his green-clad enemy-embracing appearance in the previous post, so to be fair, here’s his redemption shot:

(He insisted on taking this photo, though I’m not sure he recalls doing so, after dehydrating himself in his hot tub all day, and then partaking of one or two beers. I feel his pain. Well, not really, since I don’t have a hot tub, but here’s to hoping for one at my next residency. Puckett’s raised the bar for all of us. Even you, Mr. Mackey!)