Giacinto Scelsi: Okanagan (1968)
Tobias Picker: Octet (1978)
Pierre Boulez: Dérive 2 (1988)
All performances include a 7pm pre-concert talk with the composers and music director, as well as a post-concert reception.
The Collage New Music 2019-20 season opens with startlingly divergent metabolisms. Giacinto Scelsi, one of Italy’s most important, if still obscure, composers of the 20th century, said that his Okanagon, for three low-pitched, amplified instruments, was “like grasping the heartbeat of the Earth." This ghostly ritualistic music contrasts vividly with Tobias Picker’s early Octet, nervous music in which lyrical and volatile impulses crash into each other like tectonic plates. The program culminates in Pierre Boulez’s last large work, Dérive 2, for ten instruments, exquisite music whose expansiveness rushes by on a hair-raising roller coaster ride. This is a program of formidable personalities at their most vivid.