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Review: 21C Music Festival Faster Still Anaïs Nin – forbidden desire and one sinful red couch

Review: 21C Music Festival Faster Still Anaïs Nin – forbidden desire and one sinful red couch

May 26, 2014
National

"The second evening of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 21C Music Festival contained a wealth of music for strings, brilliant performances by budding artists, and most attention grabbing, an abundance of incest.

The first performance of the evening was Greek-Canadian composer Christos Hatzis’s third string quartet, The Questioning. Most of Hatzis’ recent music grapples with postmodernism, multiculturalism and its often-tenuous relationship with Western classical music. Hatzis’ string quartet, which opens with a recording of Greek Orthodox chant, blends elements of Eastern music and contemporary classical form and techniques. Extended techniques on the strings conjured images of both contemporary classical music and non-Western instruments; expressive portamento recalled the quarter-tone slides of Eastern vocal techniques, as well as late Romantic string quartet music. The overarching form of the quartet’s three movements, though cast as a cyclical spiritual journey, ultimately recalled the traditional Western musical narrative of exposition, development and tension, and eventual resolution. Despite the extra-musical narratives of spiritual struggle, the strongest characteristics ultimately lay in the quartet’s traditional form, which produced an utmost musical clarity..."

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