Off the plane just a few hours before, a group of Seattle Symphony musicians and music director Ludovic Morlot – in New York for an appearance in the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall Tuesday night – took the stage at Greenwich Village nightclub Le Poisson Rouge late Monday.
The 10 p.m. chamber gig’s theme was telling Seattle history through music; the program opened with SSO pianist Kim Russ playing Debussy’s “Pagodes,” written in 1903 – the year Seattle Symphony was founded. The packed house (which included composer John Luther Adams) cheered as Morlot kicked things off, explaining that the chamber performance was in tandem with what the orchestra does in Seattle in its [untitled] late-night series. It was definitely informal, as individual musicians spoke briefly, sometimes humorously, before each piece.
Along with the “Pagodes,” the bill featured Varese’s “Density 21.5,”; John Cage’s “Imaginary Landscape No. 1”; Nikolaev’s “vnik-ton experience” (Nikolaev’s homage to Seattle and Jimi Hendrix, noted violinist Mikhail Shmidt); and Seattle composer Angelique Poteat’s Nirvana-inspired “Much Difference.” The set closed with Adams’ “The Light Within.”
It’s been a luminous spring for Adams, who recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his SSO-commissioned piece “Become Ocean,” which the orchestra will play at Carnegie Hall Tuesday night (May 6). The affable composer, unmistakable in his hat while mingling with patrons at the nightclub, will hear “Ocean” performed live for the first time at Carnegie.
Tonight’s (May 6) concert will be broadcast at 8 p.m. on KING FM 98.1.
It’s a quick turnaround for the musicians; the orchestra departs for Seattle – where many are playing for “Tales of Hoffmann” at Seattle Opera — on Wednesday.