Daniel Goode

Composer & Performer

Tag: The Flexible Orchestra

The Flexible Orchestra at the Ukrainian Restaurant, September 28th, 2017

The Flexible Orchestra with a core of bassoons and contrabassoons performs September 28th, Thursday, 7:30 at the Ukrainian Restaurant, 140 Second Av. At 9th Street, conducted by our wonderful, Tara Simoncic.

It’s a “Concerto Program” with works by Daniel Goode (the orchestra’s founder), Krystina Bobrowski from San Francisco, David Demnitz from Gamelan Son of Lion, and violist/composer, Stephanie Griffin of the Momenta Quartet. In addition, as a gesture to the history of “multiples” of one instrument, we will revive Mary Jane Leach’s “Feu de Joie” for solo bassoon and six recorded bassoons. The soloist will be Sara Schoenbeck, our first bassoonist.

Goode’s “Concerto for Lecturer and Orchestra” is a setting of his wife, Ann Snitow’s lecture on how to survive backlash—ominously relevant to now. Ann will perform the solo lecture.

David Demnitz’s “Savor Pelog/Shading: Clarinet Concerto” is written for Goode playing his instrument. It was originally a piece for gamelan orchestra, which he as transcribed for the Flexible Orchestra.

Bobrowski’s premiere will feature her on french horn. Stephanie Griffin will feature herself on viola.

For further information, write Daniel Goode at
dsgoode@earthlink.net

No reservations are needed for the concert. For before the concert dinner reservations, call the restaurant at:
212-614-3283

Remember the concert starts at 7:30!

 

 

 

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Nielsen, McGill, the NY Phil, and the Future

Such delicacy in the large orchestra which, incidentally, had two harps in the Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales, and was then chamber-sized for the Carl Nielsen Clarinet Concerto, beautifully performed by the NY Phil’s Anthony McGill in this January’s New York Philharmonic concert. It has fiendishly difficult cadenzas, and I’ve just only “played at it,”  His playing was exquisite, delicate, very straight, and more like a clarinet solo emerging from the orchestra’s wind section than a front-and-center concerto style. Though I’d never heard a live performance of it before, I hear the concerto in a more raucous style than McGill’s Mozartian sound. Nevertheless his is a valid interpretation and Nielsen is a refreshing composer—one without rhetoric who found a way of threading through 19th century symphony style into 20th century modernism, while holding on to poignant, sometimes witty, always expressive sound. Often this concerto shaped itself into treble-bass two-part counterpoint with occasional hectic fast figuration in the strings which became a texture within that frame. Shifting harmonic implications. A satisfying piece!

Delicacy was again the quality, in the Tchaikovsky suite from Swan Lake. The solo violin and harp movement, the violin and cello and harp movement, for example. Then, unexpectedly the full orchestra tutti brass-laced chords. What a sudden voluptuous, extravagant sound!… Thrilled.
The “future of the orchestra,” my concern. Ever since I started playing and listening to Indonesian gamelan music, a “national” music, I’ve reflected on our own, Western “gamelan”—the symphony orchestra, suddenly valuing it more because it is a unique sound in world music: nothing else like it. I wonder about its ability to negotiate the poly-stylistics of all the music around us which competes for our attention, and especially that of young people. Everything is “niched.” But symphony is not low-overhead, unlike gamelan, punk bands, or  myself!… Also gamelan can use relatively inexperienced, or untrained musicians who can count. Only amateur choruses can do that with professional orchestras. Think symphony and then think doctor’s and lawyer’s training. And think ticket prices. Third tier, row DD was $55 and the back wall was just behind me. Binoculars were glued to my face because I like to watch orchestration. [Clear throat: Ahem.] Binoculars were glued to my face, but not only because I like to “watch” the orchestration. I couldn’t tell without them where the second violins and violas were placed. I’m not sure even now. I was “living to the back.” (Talk to your Jewish ancestors or friends about this phrase).
Though Ravel and Nielsen are firmly 20th century composers, their roots were in the 19th, and the 19th century is still the basis of the symphony orchestra’s repertoire. The kaleidoscopic variety of sound, even its wonderful excess come from that century. What of the future? The Flexible Orchestra is my commentary on the symphony orchestra, and my attempt to secure its future by trying different palettes, all firmly orchestral. But more will have to be done, imaginatively done, I suspect. And composers will have to do it. With some help. Think: copyist, parts editing, revision and recording. Think arts and market capitalism. I did. I am.
Thumbnail Review #43
All thumbnail reviews are at danielgoode.com

The Flexible Orchestra at the Ukrainian Restaurant October 25th!

The FLEXIBLE ORCHESTRA
in a new orchestration of
ten clarinets, electric guitar, double bass, and harp,
will premiere four composers’ works on Thursday, October 25th,
8:30 PM at the Ukrainian Restaurant, 140 2nd Ave. at 9th Street.

Come early and eat: 212-614-3283
$15/10 for students and seniors
N/R/L/#6 trains
Info: dsgoode@earthlink.net
danielgoode.com

WORKS by Daniel Goode, Will Holshouser, Lisa Karrer, Ma’ayan Tsadka, Mary Jane Leach, conducted by Jeannine Wagar