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”