Review: SummerFest revels in sextets and violins, and Timo Andres impresses with a masterful new piano trio
San Diego Union Tribune
August 21, 2019
One of the most extraordinary things about this year’s SummerFest is the presence of 15 living composers on the programs. In recent times, SummerFest has had composers in residence, but never was there such an abundance of contemporary music on the festival.
Sunday evening at The JAI at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, the second concert curated by David Lang introduced San Diegans to thirty-something composers Ted Hearne, Nina Young and Timo Andres.
Despite Lang’s introductions at the top of each concert, program notes would have better elucidated some of the works on the two “Music From Music” concerts.
In Hearne’s sextet for violins, “For the Love of Charles Mingus,” it wasn’t apparent how the rhythmic bow scrapes and chuffing noises, or the suppressed melodies, related to Mingus’ album, “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady.” Notes on Hearne’s website clarify that he “imagines some echo of that artifact living and breathing under layers of distortion and interference.”
That explains the blues and gospel fragments that occasionally rose to the surface. The concluding violin solo, dashingly played by Liza Ferschtman, appeared to reference the atypical saxophone solos that end each side of Mingus’ LP.