24. 12. 2004

Sequenza21 (By David Salvage)

Cool Memories: The Season So Far

As we roll into the downhill side of winter, I thought it would be fun to reflect on the 2004-2005 New York season so far

Ive been to exactly twelve concerts since last September, and, all in all, it was a pretty decent dozen. If there was a low point, it was the dismal chthonic den that is Victor Borge Hall; the concert was fine, but the place has all the charm of an airplane cabin. Much preferable is the sexy little hall at the Austrian Cultural Forum, where I heard two terrific (and free) new-music concerts.

First up at the ACF was pianist Anika Vavic, who easily played the least technically demanding program Ive ever heard in New York. Consistently un-virtuosic, she made up for the lack of razzle-dazzle with a brilliantly conceived program, opening with a Menuet Mozart composed when he was thirteen and closing with John Cages Suite for Toy Piano, actually played on a toy piano. Her rendition of China Gates contrasted wonderfully with two pieces by the Taiwanese-Austrian composer Shih; all three pieces were cloudy masses of sound, the Shih compositions being chromatic and thick, the Adams tonal and incandescent.

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