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(May 18 to October 24, 2003)

I Hear Museum Art (B.L.C./Greenfest) <> Mad Dreams and Brits (Hickey), 6
The Score's the Thing (David Cleary) <> Recitalists & Rappers (Greenfest), 7
Music for Aldous Huxley (Cleary), 8
In Sarah's Wake (Cleary), 9
Down to the C in Chips (B.L.C.), 10
Exploring the Keys (Cleary), 11
A Rave for "Vera" (Kraft), 12
At the Temple of Drama (B.L.C.), 13
This Macbeth Struts and Frets Not (Kroll), <> A Powerful Woman (Paulk), 14
A Warrior for Us All (Paulk) <> Is There a Dr. T in the House? (McDonagh), 15
Turning the World of Sound Upside-down (Liechty/de Clef Piñeiro), 16
A Classic Ascends (de Clef Piñeiro) <> Broken by Fate (Kroll), 18
An Ancient Instrument, A New Voice (de Clef Piñeiro), 19
Pushing Strings (Kroll) <> Of A Love For Music (Patella), 20
A Night with Wolfe, Ethel and Friends (Hickey) <> Grist for the Opera Mill (Lynn), 21

from Kroll, BLC, 22

A recent interview by broadcaster Bruce Duffie with Ruth Schonthal

"Not Just Another Concert" <>
More on the "Pullet's Surprise," 24
" a decidedly poor second choice," 25

It's Who You Know (Barry Drogin), 25


À outrance à la Anderson (de Clef Piñeiro) <>
"Beauty to the Limits" (Galganski) <>
He Never Sat Back (BLC), 27
Gi'me Moe Time (Cleary) <>
Monk's "mercy" (Kaye), 29
Readying the "Unready," (BLC), 30


Another outstanding winner, 32




Live Events

Equinox Chamber Players In Concert for Impact
Just In Time: Foreign Influences Brought Home
NEC Percussion Ensemble: Premieres for Percussion
Dinosaur Annex: Metaphysics and Magic
IX International Festival for Contemporary Music

CD Reviews

Harrison Birtwistle: Refrains and Choruses
Flute Force: Eyewitness
Exchange Latin America
Outlier-New Music for Music Boxes: John Morton
Works for Flute and Piano of Louis Moyse
New American Piano Music


Arthur Berger (1912-2003)
Harold Schonberg (1915-2003)
Meyer Kupferman (1926-2003)

Review of Concert

Dinosaur Annex: Metaphysics and Magic

Sunday, May 4, 2003, 8:00 PM
First and Second Church, Boston, MA

by David Cleary

The Dinosaur Annex season finale devoted its program to six works by mid-career tonemeisters of varying notoriety. It was the two newest entries, both specially commissioned by the group, that pleased most.

Moments of Inertia (2003) by Tom Flaherty contains three movement’s worth of neo-process patterned accompaniments out of which various fetching melodies emerge. As in Steve Reich’s best music, these planes of textured backing interact well with each other, deftly delineating larger structural units. And the sound world is irresistible, making scintillating use of its flute-viola-cello trio. In brief, it’s an absolute must-hear. For Pierrot ensemble with added percussion, Kurt Stallman’s Metaphysical Miniatures (2003) is also a winner. It cleverly combines East Coast idioms with subtle ostinati, imparting a nicely sculpted sense of line and textural contrast to its overall fabric. Like Webern, Stallman imbues his short movements with style and meaning.

There was also much to like in Stephen Hartke’s piano quartet Beyond Words (2001), a sober reflection on the horrors of September 11th. Much of the material heard here is based on snippets from Thomas Tallis’s Lamentations of Jeremiah, which are then filtered through a highly chromatic, often polytonal harmonic prism. The work projects a strong sense of personality and unfolds cogently, though its often strict segregation of strings and piano took some getting used to. Magic Carpet Music (1999) showcases Laura Elise Schwendinger’s sturdy command of craft and sensitive ear for scoring; its quartet of flute, violin, cello, and clarinet/bass clarinet is handled in novel, yet highly effective ways. Although the piece wanders a bit structurally, at times seeming too repetitive, it’s clearly the product of a talented artist.

The oldest selection heard, Libby Larson’s Slang (1994), starts off well enough, ably assigning spiffy motoric material to its clarinet, violin, and piano threesome that flits effortlessly between classical and jazz-oriented sonorities. But the back half of the work bogs down into articulating a quasi-rondo structure that seems unbalanced and arbitrary. Had it remained a perpetuum mobile throughout, it would have been much more effective. Plie de Trois (2000) by Peter Homans, scored for flute, viola, and harp, possesses a manner of speech too derivative of Debussy’s model for comfort. Sadly, its problems do not end there, as it also lacks clear delineation of idea, compelling conception of form, and sense of energy at any level.

Performances were excellent. Cyrus Stevens (violin), Anne Black (viola), Michael Curry (cello), Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin (flute), Katherine V. Matasy (clarinets), Donald Berman (piano), James Russell Smith (percussion), and Judi Saiki Couture (harp) maintained the lofty level of professionalism one has come to routinely expect from this fine ensemble. Scott Wheeler conducted Stallman’s piece with thoughtful accuracy.

Bravos to Dinosaur Annex for ensuring that this concert, subtitled "Metaphysics and Magic," had boatloads of the latter quality present. Much enjoyed.