Friday, February 5, 2010

Rebekah Heller in concert

As if I needed further evidence of the superiority of the I.C.E. musicians, not only as musicians, but also as human beings, enter Rebekah Heller.* I heard Rebekah, a bassoonist, last week in a private concert along with fellow I.C.E.'er William McDaniel (piano) that included works by Vivaldi, Edgar Guzman (a special 2008 commission that called for amplified bassoon, coordinated with live tape loop), Gubaidulina and Astor Piazzolla.

It was an exemplary concert in every conceivable way. I'm obviously a fan of intimate spaces and here there was intimacy to spare. I'm also a fan of performers who not only know how to speak about complicated music in uncomplicated ways, but can do so and disarm their audience in the process. And the programming was superb -- if I may attempt to package and resell the effectiveness of the arc of the evening's concert for my fellow musicians:

Start with 1 something that shows off a technical & lively command of the instrument, followed by 2 a total contrast, in this case the arresting quality of VERY new music, followed by 3 an emotionally unchecked outpouring of virtuosity and, then 4 end with tango, because it's just awfully sexy.

*Don't believe me? Check out the dueling oboes concert at MoCP next Friday, February 12. And don't get there late, because you may not get in.

1 comment:

irene said...

I was also prompted to think about how to program a mixed bill after watching it done well -- one of the best ballet programs I've ever seen was ABT doing Theme and Variations (Balanchine, Tchaikovsky, neoclassical perfection), The Leaves Are Fading (Tudor, Dvorak, Romantic, implicit), and Fancy Free (Leonard Bernstein, campy American ballet about sailors on shore leave) -- the general arc of the evening was from abstraction to narrative, from glittering technique to dancing on top of a bar, from the 19th to the 20th century -- and, most imporantly, the program left the audience ready to get up and dance.