CSO MusicNOW Review – Post-Concert Pizza Beer Parties


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s showcase of new music, MusicNOW, is clearly attempting to popularize its series of new works at the Harris Theater. 



What could be more party-like than pizza and beer?


That’s the fare after each concert.


In theory one is able to mingle with the musicians and composers in this pizza party, though that proves difficult to do in the throng and with the loud musical accompaniment.  Perhaps the purpose is to give the MusicNOW series a feeling of “happening”.



On February 3 in a concert called “Folk Songs”, resident composers Mason Bates and Anna Clyne were joined by Argentinian composer Martin Matalon via a video introduction and his 2005 work, “Traces II”. 



This is 15 minutes of a solo viola with electronic replays of phrases that at times meld with her musical lines and other times are simple echos.  This work was originally commissioned by le Musée du Louvre, La muse en circuit and Ensemble Intercontemporain and this was its debut with the CSO.  Weijing Wang was the solo violist performing this piece.


The composer speaks about his work here--




Mason Bates “String Band” from 2002 uses bits of pencil erasers and small screws inserted into a piano to make it better blend with the cello and violin.   This had the effect of making the piano sound more of a piece with the two string instruments.


Here is a clip of Bates talking about his work—



Anna Clyne’s piece “The Lost Thought” from 2013 puts a short poem by Emily Dickinson to music.  It features three sopranos singing the musical lines with the small orchestra conducted by Robert Moody. 


Clyne says of her work—



The next MusicNOW event is on May 5.  For tickets or information visit the CSO website or call 312-294-3000



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