Concerto da Camerata no SONiC recebe ótimas críticas em blogs internacionais
O concerto da Camerata Aberta no último dia 18, na programação do SONiC Festival (NY-EUA), rendeu duas ótimas críticas. O blog I care if you listen, criado pelo compositor francês Thomas Deneuville, publicou texto de Rob Wendt sobre a apresentação: “A habilidade dos intérpretes em manipular as fronteiras das paletas de cores de seus instrumentos é excepcional”, escreve. O Lucid Culture, blog de cultura dedicado quase que exclusivamente aos eventos nova-iorquinos de arte, intitulou sua avaliação do concerto da Camerata Aberta como “O grupo brasileiro Camerata Aberta interpreta programa deslumbrante no SONiC”. Confira abaixo os textos na íntegra.
SONiC Festival – Camerata Aberta at Americas Society
Camerata Aberta boasts some of São Paulo’s most dedicated musicians. Seven of the group’s sixteen members were in attendance at this Oct. 18th concert. The ensemble is dedicated to premiering works of Brazilian composers as well as accepted concert music standards of the 20th and 21st century. Americas Society’s performance hall is like a grand 19th century Viennese salon, but the space was not at all anachronistic with the contemporary program; rather, it provided the dignified atmosphere demanded by the artists’ circumspect exploration of timbre on conventional instruments.
The World Premiere of Caminantes III, a trombone / bass duet by Igor Leão Maia, began with the audience wondering, “Are they tuning, or has the piece begun?” Such is the effect of indolent quarter-tones drawn out over time. The muted trombone, sliding up and down between indeterminate pitches, seemed to channel the schoolteacher from the Charlie Brown animated series. After thus eschewing stable pitches, the duo cadenced on a gentle perfect fifth. A frenzy of 16th notes suddenly took off, down chutes and up ladders, stopping only for the instrumentalists to employ growls, and the trombone producing interference from two out-of-sync sound waves. The cadence this time was breath blown quietly through the trombone.
Tatiana Catanzaro’s Kristallklavierexplosionsschattensplitter (not a misprint) for solo piano, opened its US Premiere with tinkling in the high register, like the creaking beams of an ancient dollhouse. Pianist Lidia Bazarian soon whacked the bass strings and quickly strummed the mid-range strings. It is the kind of piece to make you wonder, ‘what came first: the horror movie, or the music often associated with this film genre?’ Ejaculatory glimmers in the highest register made sense of the accompanying poem in the program notes: “diffracted light / inside out / …into tiny little pieces”
In composing Estudo sobre os arrependimentos de Velázquez, Marcílio Onofre was inspired by the painter’s “pentimenti: mistakes… that the artist himself fixed with a thin layer of paint, which were subsequently marred by the passing of time, revealing the original brush strokes.” It is a common refrain among new music audiences: “How can one tell if they’re hitting the right notes?” What better way for an artist to bare his soul, though, than this conscious embrace of ‘error’? The trumpet, trombone, viola, bass, and piano join in episodes of timbral consensus, separated by pregnant silences, perhaps the better to digest these “mistakes.” This establishes the form of the piece. Bass drum thunder introduces a second section, and the piece ends on a wood block trill which crescendos as in a tense moment before a kung fu battle.
João Victor Bota composed Zênite for solo viola as a tribute to the Brazilian composer Almeida Prado. Violist Peter Pas began with a dyad exploration, of which the major 7th formed the median. Perfect 5ths were effected by harmonics. A solo line, sul ponticello, recalled the romanticism of Alban Berg. An extremely heavy mute was installed to create the thinnest of string sounds, creating another character entirely, perhaps a wizened elder warning the reckless, romantic youth. Harmonics were then employed to create yet another character, a maiden emitting a patter of perfect fifths and a rising arpeggio of airy simplicity. But the youth returns with a tantrum of dyads anchored on the same stubborn pedal tone.
Valéria Bonafé’s Lan uses “atmospheres” to explore a sonic close-up of a seemingly “static universe.” Muted trumpet and trombone outline a tri-tone, which crescendos while the pianist plays the alchemist, transforming light into sound, bringing with it all of its refractions and decay. Bassist Pedro Gadelha supplies the deep penetrating OM. The piece indeed avoids a sense of forward motion, choosing instead to hang like a mobile, its suspended elemental curios bumping inevitably against each other in the imperceptible cosmic wind.
If any audience members came to this concert expecting to hear samba, then they were perhaps somewhat rewarded for staying until the end, as the NYC Premiere of Clint Needham’s Color Study was a jazzy number and a closer with pulse. Here was the densest fabric of the night; no more patient exploration of timbre, just chugging, brassy syncopations. Ken Thomson blew bird-calls on the alto saxophone and was answered by complex chords, resigned in their consonance but pointing forward toward a more complete resolution. Charles Augusto’s punchy bass-snare percussion groove drove the closing section, definitely the fight scene of the program – think the “POW!” and “WHAM!” form Batman comics.
Camerata Aberta’s dedication to Brazilian composers should not be mistaken for an adherence to any Brazilian style or genre. Indeed, the composers on this SONiC program explore idiosyncrasies of timbre and musical space that can only be realized through intense artistic introspection. The performers’ skill in manipulating the outer boundaries of their instruments’ color palettes was remarkable. Many lesser performers attempting such experimentation would run the risk of presenting a pedantic exercise in extended technique, but Camerata Aberta was able to imbue the performance with contemplative nuance and aesthetic sophistication.
Brazil’s Camerata Aberta Plays a Stunning Program at SONIC
The SONIC Festival, a weeklong marathon of indie classical/new music performances, continues through this Saturday, winding up with a free performance by the American Composers Orchestra at the World Financial Center at around 7:30. Last night at the Americas Society, Brazilian new music ensemble Camerata Aberta treated a sold-out audience to a challenging, eclectic program that may well have been the highlight of the entire festival. If the Brazilian composers represented on this bill are typical of the new-music scene there, it’s time for American fans of this stuff to pay attention.
The show began on a jaunty note with Carlos Freitas on trombone and Pedro Gadelha on bass, playing the world premiere of Igor Leao Maia’s Caminantes III. A comedic piece that evoked the ordeal of trying to start a car with a rapidly dying battery, its unfinished swoops and dives and “fail” motifs were thoroughly amusing. Pianist Lidia Bazarian played Tatiana Catanzaro’s Kristallklavierexplosionschattenspliter (say that three times fast), contrasting icy, minimalist upper-register incisions with drones and roars created by striking or brushing the piano strings. On one hand, it was something any kid could have done…if that kid had remarkable patience and an ear for getting the max out of long sustained notes.
Joao Victor Bota’s Zenite, performed solo by violist Peter Pas, made vivid use of harmonics as it began bracingly atonal, then more rhythmically and consonantly and then back and forth, with the hint of a dance and more than one tongue-in-cheek joke. Marcilio Onofre’s powerfully evocative Estudo Sobre Os Arrependimentos de Valasquez was inspired by the famous painter’s brush-over technique, where he’d correct his mistakes, only to have those mistakes reappear as the repair work faded over the centuries. Charles Augusto held the center with potently dramatic percussion, whether on marimba, kettledrum or otherwise while the full ensemble took turns adding incisive accents, sometimes with a brooding, furtive call-and-response, against a drone or sustained drum tone. Frequently, the effect was organic versus mechanical, bucolic versus urban, as if to say, maybe those mistakes should have been left as is.
The most transcendent piece on the bill was another world premiere, Lan, by Valeria Bonafe, featuring all but the viola and percussion. Building from a somber bass/piano intro, it crescendoed with a creepy inevitability and highly sophisticated architecture, timbral contrasts, and an absolutely noir, circular motif that Bazarian grabbed solidly and imbued with a lurid neon glitter flecked with major-on-minor menace. It’s a suspense film theme – opening and closing credits included – waiting to happen.
The American composers on the program did not fare quite as well. A Matthias Pintscher solo trumpet tune played by Adenilson Telles had the misfortune of following the Bonafe, leaving the listener pondering questions like when it would end, or what jazz rhythm section might have been able to elevate its halfhearted, hastily minimalist bop-isms to the level of something meaningful (maybe Art Blakey and Jaco Pastorius, who might have bludgeoned it into something even less recognizable?). And while Clint Needham’s Color Study – a New York premiere, played by the whole ensemble plus Ken Thomson on alto sax – got off to a slow start with warped New Orleans jazz allusions, it eventually picked up steam and morphed into smartly counterintuitive variations on bustling, noirish motifs that the group passed among themselves with considerable relish.