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Concerts of Mystery and Imagination

Concerts of Mystery and Imagination

May 12, 2014

Spring for Music, a Festival of Orchestras, Plays Carnegie Hall

"Spring for Music, the annual festival of North American orchestras at Carnegie Hall, was created in large part to encourage adventurous programming and has in its four years produced odd juxtapositions within concerts, typically with some thematic goal in view. But when it comes to juxtaposing whole programs, anything goes, and the results can be mind-bending.

Such was the case with the stark shift from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s offering on Wednesday evening, a concert version of Howard Hanson’s fusty 1933 opera, “Merry Mount,” to that of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, an up-to-the-minute collection of works by Canadian composers. Stretching to find a connection, you might point to denatured traces of American Indian music in “Merry Mount” alongside more vital adaptations of native Canadian culture in Derek Charke’s “13 Inuit Throat Song Games” and Vincent Ho’s percussion concerto “The Shaman,” but that would be about it..."