|Youthful Anger to Ruminative Fantasies|
by Jennifer Taylor for The New York Times
Music Review - The New York Times
by Anthony Tommasini
Monday, December 8, 2008
“Diadèmes, an audaciously contemporary work for viola soloist, chamber ensemble and electronic resources by Marc-André Dalbavie, unfolds in 25 minutes of volatile, primordial music. When introduced in 1986 the piece brought widespread attention to its 24-year-old composer.
Now 47 and a leading French composer with a growing American presence, Mr. Dalbavie had not heard Diadèmes for many years before it was played on Friday by the dynamic violist Hsin-Yun Huang and the excellent International Contemporary Ensemble, conducted by Cliff Colnot, as part of the Composer Portraits series at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre. And as Mr. Dalbavie told the audience during an onstage interview, he was a little disconcerted by what he heard.
“I had almost forgotten it,” he said. Shaking his head, he added: “I was aggressive back then. I was 24 and angry.” It sounded to him, he said, as if he was trying to “rediscover the Big Bang” in music.
If Diadèmes is aggressive, a more recent Dalbavie work, Palimpseste (2002), imaginatively scored for violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet and piano, seemed the opposite: ethereal and delicate, with hints of modal harmony and Impressionistic colorings...
The concert ended with the premiere of Mr. Dalbavie’s Fantaisies, a 20-minute work for cello and chamber orchestra, a Miller Theatre commission. It is a series of six thematically related fantasies with a staggeringly difficult solo part, played brilliantly here by the 28-year-old Russian cellist Dimitri Maslennikov…”
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