Friday, February 6, 2009

Classical Music Fusion with the Brooklyn Philharmonic

Steve Smith of the New York Times reviewed a concert by the Brooklyn Philharmonic.

During the philharmonic’s three-evening Nuevo Latino Festival, which ended at the Howard Gilman Opera House on Saturday, orchestra members mingled with progressive Latin American artists of various backgrounds and aesthetic inclinations.

In “Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout,” Gabriela Lena Frank used orchestral strings to evoke traditional Peruvian instruments and rhythms. Paul Desenne, from Venezuela, alluded to European cultural strands entangled with native roots in his violin concerto “The Two Seasons,” a cheeky mash-up of Vivaldi and Astor Piazzolla.

“Noctámbulos,” the Mexican composer Enrico Chapela’s piece for his rock trio and orchestra, further attested to a radical fusion of styles and temperaments within contemporary Latin American culture.

It seems Latin America is taking the Classical Music World by storm. Recent posts here have included everything from Gustavo Dudamel and El Sistema of Venezuala to the engaging composers from Mexico or the blending of Cuban beats and classical instruments. The Latin American rhythms are truly becoming main stream. It certainly has affected my own music, reference my post last May regarding what influences me.

Although the above post doesn't highlight it, Indian music, which also relies heavily on rhythm for much of its nature, is also making in-roads in the Classical Music World with artists like Ravi Shankar and Neel Murgai writing music fusing the classical orchestra with Indian instruments (and rhythms). Perhaps rhythm is what the music of tomorrow's classical composers is going to be focused on...

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