August 2017 Convention
Minneapolis, MN

New Music from Europe

This adventurous program was presented to a rather small but enthusiastic audience. I missed the first work but got to hear most of Karin de Fleyt’s performance of Stockhausen’s “Susani’s Echo.” She gave a commanding performance, with a rich sound and lots of stage presence, even when playing seated with her back turned to the audience, as the piece asks the performer to do.

The Calliope Duo (Elizabeth McNutt and pianist Shannon Wettstein) performed its signature piece, Franco Donatoni’s “Fili,” a rapid, quicksilver work that requires both endurance and tight coordination. (Notably, it is actually easier for the pianist than the flutist to turn pages in this piece, so it also required a giant score!)

Dan di Maggio’s alto flute duo “Experiment 52” was played by the duo NewFlow (Carla Rees and de Fleyt), a well-matched pair who brought out the echoes and sustains, tensions and releases in the piece.

The final work was “Interplay, Op. 11” by Lasse Thoresen, played by Carmen Lemoine and pianist Chi Zang. Lemoine spoke about the piece beforehand, sharing that although it was written in 1981, she thought it was an overlooked work that sounded as though it could have been written today. It included solo passages for both instruments and some interesting, delicate textures, then a very fast, active section and some singing and playing for the flutist.

—Wayla J. Chambo