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Not your average squeezebox gig...

January 12, 2009

Royce Hall at UCLA has fabulous acoustics, and last night, on Sunday 1-11, it was just as well, or the capacity audience would not have been able to hear the many nuances of Osvaldo Golijov's new orchestral work Azul. He writes what is basically tonal modern orchestral music, but he mixes colors and timbral gestures like a synthesist. 

It was a big-deal event, the West-Coast première, and Yo-Yo Ma played the featured cello part (which is so incredibly demanding, it takes somebody of his rare skills to pull it off), with Michael Ward-Bergeman on electrified accordion and Jamey Haddad on non-traditional (for classical music) percussion. 

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Jeffrey Kahane acquitted itself with aplomp, and the unusually long and vocal applause showed how new music is well received in this music town where being good is mediocre and being exceptional is the rule.

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