ASO: Robert Spano with Tom Sherwood & Charles Settle

I’ve only attended one or two of the ASO’s pre-concert talks that are hosted by Metzler — they aren’t bad but they also aren’t really my thing — but I went to the one this evening because, frankly, I had nothing better to do than get there early. It was actually pretty interesting: Avner Dorman, the composer of the first piece on the program, ‘Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!,’ was there to talk about his work and he was actually somewhat interesting. The piece, it seems, originated as just a percussion duo and was later expanded to become a concerto. This really showed in the piece as the orchestra merely filled out the sound a little in the first movement but played a more complementary role in the second and third movements. He said of the title that he had decided to write each movement around an idea that was both enticing and dangerous: Spices taste wonderful but, in excess, can cause digestive issues (you can tell the man is Jewish); Perfumes “seduce but can also betray;” and Toxins can be quite intoxicating as well as being deadly.
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