Dan Albertson, (“he”), born betwixt a quarter and a third of a century ago and once from small-town Michigan yet now settled further to the Midwest, is biographically reticent, a man of few passions and perhaps, per Musil, a man lacking in qualities. No training in any particular field, but seems closest to belonging in the realm of musicology. He both delights in, and is dismayed at, his lack of institutional affiliation. He is the founder and director of the Living Composers Project, though his own interest has turned decidedly against contemporary music in recent years and towards the Baroque and Renaissance. Thank you, Sir Roger. Contemporary music is too often “garbage,” he believes, though with obvious exceptions. He is the author of critical articles for American and European publications and has edited four volumes of Contemporary Music Review, on composers Helmut Lachenmann, Earle Brown and Aldo Clementi. As a poet, he has collaborated with several composers but tends to write poems as gifts — sometimes welcomed. As translator, he works regularly with Cybele Records in Düsseldorf. He enjoys walks, jogs, swims and paintings, but not all at once.
Here was a concert of music from Vienna that, for once, ignored Beethoven, Mahler and Mozart.
Shulamit Ran… is a composer of general tonality, or perhaps a general composer of tonality.
Having decried the bulk of contemporary music, I take a rare opportunity to indulge in advocacy.
In this case, a trio of autumnal concerts, more “pain” is displayed than “pleasure,” but such is the nature of music making in Chicago.
Even before the recent spate of double celebrations, marking 150 years since his birth and 100 years since his death, Gustav Mahler had gained celebrity far beyond his achievements, which are large in scope, yet shallow in musical integrity.
The version here is mostly 1724, much more so than Haller, though the inclusion of the duet Himmel reiße, Welt erbebe was an adroit choice.