Superconductor: Concert Review: Let Me Drown. Novus NY plays Become Ocean.

Friday, May 19, 2017

by Paul J. Pelkonen

The concert opened with After the Wave by Ms, Woolf. It started with a lone, faraway trumpet, answered from a seemingly great distance by oboe and English horn, that most desolate sounding of wind instruments…Swelling surges of strings and brass crashed and broke on the senses, at turns meditative and anguished, moaning of irredeemable loss

The composer John Luther Adams who won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Become Ocean.

St. Paul’s Chapel, located in the long shadow of the World Trade Center is one of the oldest and most historic churches in New York. On Thursday afternoon, the last matinee concert of the annual music series sponsored by Trinity Church featured another historic occasion: the second New York pperformance of Become Ocean, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning composition by John Luther Adams. This concert, featuring contemporary orchestra Novus NY under the baton of Trinity Church maestro Julian Wachner, paired Mr. Adams’ creation with works by contemporary composers Luna Pearl Woolf  and Jessica Meyer. All three composers were in attendance. Continue reading “Superconductor: Concert Review: Let Me Drown. Novus NY plays Become Ocean.”

New York Music Daily: Vast, Intricate, Awe-Inspiring Oceans of Sound Downtown

May 19, 2017

…From the first few stark, distantly enigmatic notes of Luna Pearl Woolf’s After the Wave, …it was clear that Julian Wachner’s fearlessly eclectic ensemble had come to deliver a message…a flood of low tonalities and bracing close harmonies as haunting as anything in Adams’ work

What’s the likelihood that the two opening works on a program featuring John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean would hold their own alongside that epically enveloping, meticulously churning, playfully palindromic masterpiece? It happened yesterday at St. Paul’s Chapel downtown, where Novus NY delivered a mighty coda to this season’s program of music on themes of water justice, staged by Trinity Church.

The pervasive cynicism that still exists at corporate rock concerts has roots in the classical world: “Let’s warm up the crowd with something short and random and then get down to business.” From the first few stark, distantly enigmatic notes of Luna Pearl Woolf’s After the Wave, a portrait of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and its aftermath, it was clear that Julian Wachner’s fearlessly eclectic ensemble had come to deliver a message. With just the hint of foreshadowing, the methodical pulse of daily routine gave way to a flood of low tonalities and bracing close harmonies as haunting as anything in Adams’ work. From there the orchestra made their way through an unexpectedly triumphant latin-tinged fanfare of sorts, up to a conclusion that signaled triumph and recovery over an ocean of devastation. Continue reading “New York Music Daily: Vast, Intricate, Awe-Inspiring Oceans of Sound Downtown”

NOVUS NY performance: After the Wave

NOVUS NY Ensemble will feature their fantastic performance of After the Wave from the Sunken Cathedral series on their website.

From the New York Times Classical Music in NYC listings:

NOVUS NY at St. Paul’s Chapel (May 18, 1 p.m.). If your John Luther Adams cravings are not fulfilled by the Crossing’s concert on Friday and Alarm Will Sound’s on Sunday, here’s a free lunchtime opportunity to hear “Become Ocean,” his symphonic masterpiece of tone painting, compositional process and ecological awareness, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014. Alongside it, Julian Wachner conducts a premiere from Jessica Meyer and Luna Pearl Woolf’s “After the Wave.”

212-602-0800, trinitywallstreet.org

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