Archive for September, 2006

Upstate New York in Glens Falls. Charles Peltz, music director, has been doing some wonderful things here. We first met when we did a concert on Long Island several years ago with the Merrick Symphony–Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto. We’ve stayed in touch, and when I read that his orchestra was doing the World Premiere of Joan Tower’s “Made in America”, I thought instantly that he might be interested in the Lowell Liebermann Third Concerto Project–and he was. That’s what brings us together for this weekend’s opening season concert in Glens Falls.

Last night, one of the integral parts of the prelude to the orchestra concert was a chamber music concert of various players in different combinations ie flute/piano, clarinet solo and w/piano, cello/piano, horn trio, piano trio–to musically illustrate the bridge between two composers. It was illuminating, and I must say the Liebermann Piano Trio was played splendidly as was everything else on the program. Lowell admitted that since his files for some works were gone from his PC back in 2001, he had to re-write everything, then spent a few days on one new work and going full speed ahead for one week in writing his Piano Trio–no food, hardly any sleep–finished the double bar at 4am the morning of 9-11, and finally fell asleep. He remembered three days after 9-11 going outside on the Upper West Side and smelled a very strange odor, and went back to his aprtment. He then declined to compose for a period of time–it just didn’t seem appropriate to him to reflect in musical terms of what had happened.

So composers out there, Charles Peltz is a strong advocate for new music.

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While driving upstate New York today, I put a cd on of Ignaz Friedman, and another of various legendary pianists playing what they played best. It was awesome–the sheer magic of their pianism and the liberties they took in phrasing was so refreshing. What it reminded me most was that we are living in a world which is so troubled, and freedom is restrained–however troubled the world was during these pianists’ lifetimes, as a whole, artists had complete freedom–and the media was not as ‘in-your-face’ as it is today. It was a wonderful escape to drive and listen to beautiful music–a missed note here and there–it didn’t matter. The subtlety and freedom was something wonderful to embrace.

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