ReMix: From Prometheus to Prokofiev
January 20-21 | 2017
Courtney Lewis CONDUCTOR
Maria Schleuning VIOLIN
Jolyon Pegis cello
Overture to the Creatures of Prometheus
Concerto Grosso No. 2
This concert will be held at Dallas City Performance Hall.
A fun and intimate series of classical concerts in a relaxed setting - enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or beer and hors d'oeuvres before the concert, and stay after the concert to chat with the musicians.
6:30 PM - Free drinks and appetizers
7:30 PM - Concert begins
8:45 PM - Post-concert mingling with the musicians
- A Turbulent Russian Concerto Grosso Spoke to Conflicted Feelings in Friday's DSO ReMix Concert
by Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
One could argue that Alfred Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No. 2 was just the piece for the profoundly unsettled, conflicted national mood Friday night. Again and again, the solo violin and cello attempt to represent order, to spin out baroque figurations and weave hints of a melody suggestive of "Silent night." But after an initial parody of a Bach Brandenburg Concerto, the orchestra repeatedly stirs up noisy, turbulent dissonance. Proprieties and pleasantries must battle with onslaughts of vulgar marches and fanfares and sheer noise.
The Schnittke was the centerpiece of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's more intimate and less formal ReMix concert at the Dallas City Performance Hall. At 35 minutes, in four nonstop movements, it was certainly one of the most challenging pieces of music heard around here anytime recently. The guest conductor was Courtney Lewis, a Northern Ireland native now music director of the Jacksonville (Florida) Symphony. His to-the-point introduction to the Schnittke, spoken in a crisp British accent, was exactly what such things should be but rarely are.
Schnittke (1934-1998), the most prominent Russian composer after Shostakovich, early on evolved a signature polystylism. The Concerto Grosso No. 2, from 1982, displays a characteristic mix of simple and complex, retro and avant-garde, high and low musical styles; it's music Charles Ives might have composed if he'd been born 60 years later in Russia. The orchestra includes both harpsichord (synthesizer in this case) and electric bass guitar, as well as an array of tuned and untuned percussion; both strings and timpani execute woozy pitch slides.
Violinist Maria Schleuning and cellist Jolyon Pegis, two DSO musicians with considerable modern-music experience in the Voices of Change ensemble, played brilliantly--no small accomplishment--but also, when called for, subtly. The orchestra whipped up the requisite commotions. An audience conspicuously younger than at Meyerson Symphony Center concerts applauded enthusiastically.
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