Sunday, March 2, 2014
March's Return to the Phantom Concert Hall!
We've had to bundle up, as it's still bitter cold. And while the concert hall is lovely and old, the music itself is strange and modern...
Olivier Massiaen (1908-1992) was one of the 20th century's more prominent composers, and this particular piece was commissioned to memorialize the dead from the two World Wars. It was first privately performed in the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris in 1964, and just imagining this piece in that beautiful place...well, wow. I'd have loved to have been there. But the New York premiere, during Pierre Boulez's controversial tenure at the New York Philharmonic, had people staggering out almost traumatized.
And we're left feeling impressed and overwhelmed, and conversation at our late supper afterward is almost nonexistent. We just don't know what to say.