San Diego Story
Ken Herman
August 19, 2019

Composer David Lang returned to the La Jolla SummerFest stage Sunday, August 18, to introduce his second installment of fresh contemporary music for this year’s festival. Like Lang’s last Sunday presentation, The Conrad’s JAI theater was filled with a convivial crowd that responded enthusiastically to his four contrasting musical offerings.

Timo Andres’ Piano Trio, with the composer at the piano, made a strong impression. Composed last year, it is a substantial, tightly constructed three-movement contemporary incarnation of this traditional chamber music format that Andres has filled with potent musical ideas and sumptuous textures. In this work, Andres explores two highly contrasting approaches: (1) while the piano provides rippling but understated support, the strings craft austerely beguiling themes individually and together; (2) using dense, muscular chords, the piano boldly drives the ensemble with unabashed domination.