No stranger to WNMF audiences, the riveting music of Montreal-born composer Samy Moussa opens the festival with his Kammerkonzert for chamber orchestra. The powerful and physical piece makes way for John Adams’ sequel to Chamber Symphony – Son of Chamber Symphony. Commissioned by Stanford University, Carnegie Hall and the San Francisco Ballet in 2007, the sequel is pure Adams. Cast in his playfully mercurial style, it is a characteristically complex and richly imagined work.
Records from a Vanishing City is an autobiographical tone poem based on Jessie Montgomery’s own recollection of the music that surrounded her growing up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The evening wraps up with another autobiographical work – the incredibly powerful Iscariot by the late Christopher Rouse. Dedicated “in friendship and with admiration” to John Adams, Iscariot is a continuous piece written in the ancient Greek dramatic tradition that, like the opening piece of the evening, is filled with riveting intensity but also extreme sorrow.