In Tuesday’s (3/10) San Jose Mercury News (California), Richard Scheinin reviews the San Jose Chamber Orchestra’s Sunday program under Barbara Day Turner, which began a performance of Dvorák’s American String Quartet by the Ives String Quartet. “After intermission, the chamber orchestra took the stage, first performing ‘Lyric for Strings’ by George Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Chicago-based composer who, many moons ago, was the first African-American graduate of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. … Day Turner and the orchestra performed [the work] with warmly sighing sensitivity. Next, the orchestra turned to new music by Hyo-shin Na, the San Francisco-based, Korean-American composer whose works have been performed by the Kronos Quartet and other noted ensembles. In ‘Not the Object Alone’—commissioned by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra for Sunday’s world premiere—Na, like Walker, composes a world of sighs. But these sighs are extended, like long breaths or wind rustling through leaves or blades of grass. The Ives Quartet was back again for Na’s premiere: The group was ‘soloist’ for what amounts to a concerto for string quartet, orchestra and doses of percussion. … Finally, there was ‘Rounds,’ music by one more American: the late David Diamond, a Jewish New Yorker who taught at Juilliard for years.”
Posted March 12, 2009