Miracle on Drums
Look and Listen Festival 2011

Wordless Music Orchestra: Glass, Ligeti and Greenwood

DSC07519It's been more than three years since the Wordless Music Orchestra gave the U.S. premiere of Johnny Greenwood's Popcorn Superhet Receiver: a success well beyond most expectations for the Radiohead's guitarist. So, it was no surprise that Greenwood's Doghouse - premiered last night at the Society for Ethical Culture by the same orchestra under conductor Brad Lubman - was a virtuosic joyride from start to finish, helped along by violinist Courtney Orlando, violist John Pickford Richards and cellist Lauren Radnofsky.

The first half of the program was no less engaging. Philp Glass' Symphony No. 4 "Heroes" (1997) was an exciting, minimalist riff on the experimental David Bowie/Brian Eno album of the same name. The highlight of the evening was Ligeti's Chamber Concerto (1970): written for 13 musicians, each of whom gets their own turn in the spotlight. Played here by Ensemble Signal, it writhed with kinetic movement and creepy glissandi, hurtling towards an unexpectedly abrubt finish. 

The program repeats tonight; tickets are $30 and available at the door. 

More pics on Flickr.