Monday, October 23, 2006

Five Things about Jennifer Koh's recital

On the first Fresh Ink 2006-2007 concert at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia:
1. There were 5 pieces on the modern program, 2 of them having 5 movements!
2. Delightful talkback or "artist chat" afterwards with the performers and composer Jennifer Higdon. Sweet question from a youngster about how long does Jenny Koh practice (depends but roughly 3 hours a day.)
3. This concert was recorded by WRTI and will hopefully be available for streaming - I'll keep an eye out - if you see something about it, let me know - it deserves another hearing...go see Jennifer in concert and keep an eye out next year for a cd of it!
4. I think Jennifer Higdon's String Poetic is just awesome and was played with great aplomb. I might have had the piano on the short stick for the entire concert, and I might be tempted to rearrange the piece, switching the third and fourth movements so that the contrasts are heard between the lyrical and quick movements. Nonetheless, Higdon writes beautifully for the violin and piano, letting each shine. There is also a great amount of joy, depth and passion to String Poetic - I expect every violinist worth their salt (rosin, hahaha) will be adding it to their repertoire.
5. Koh spoke briefly on stage between pieces and was entirely off the cuff, at least it didn't seem part of a schtick - she made honest music and certainly let her playing speak for itself: top notch!

1 comment:

Deborah said...

So you were there -- so many empty seats! I do love Higdon's pieces, as they are so accessible (at least to me), melodic, interesting textures, and NOT pretentious.

Penn Sounds is an e-newsletter published by Composer Services Inc. Contact Betty Hewitt at bethh@tjburke.com for subscription.

I review most of the new music concert series in Philadelphia for CSI: Relache, Network for New Music, Fresh Ink,Orchestra 2001 (but not this year), and miscellaneous others that are doing world premieres, particularly Higdon and Andrea Clearfield works.

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