November 15, 2002 |
Over its 17-year life, the fine and malleable new-music-minded ensemble Xtet has been more than a lurking presence on the performance scene but less than a steady one. The advent of its first residency at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a three-concert series that began Wednesday, promises more continuity in public and a well-deserved opportunity to flex its agenda. That agenda involves the usual new-music business of giving premieres, but also tapping the annals of 20th century music.
November 7, 2001 |
Only a week after a well-attended Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group performance of Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire," Xtet put on another performance of the piece at LACMA's Bing Theatre on Monday, drawing a bigger-than-average Monday Evening Concerts turnout. Is this notoriously fearsome song cycle catching on? If so, it took only 89 years.
February 13, 1991 |
No socks were knocked off, no bells rang and genuine thrills appeared seldom at the latest Monday Evening concert. Still, hope was not denied: Fascinating recent music, bracketed by 20th-Century standards, made up the program. The flexible-sized, contemporary-music specialist ensemble Xtet, one of the better local inventions of the 1980s, took over Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for this event, presenting scores by David Ocker, Bright Sheng and Donald R.
May 28, 1987 |
The delicate balance between how composers and performers perceive music can create a problem: The composer often listens for musical ideas and a sense of intellectual satisfaction, while the performer may like music that is technically challenging, and runs the gamut of what the instrument can do. Meanwhile, the listener is left to sort out these sensibilities and unfortunately is often caught with too much of one and not enough of the other.
March 21, 1988 |
Friday night in the Campus Theatre at El Camino College, pianist Gloria Cheng and four other members of the chamber music ensemble XTET gave an intimate concert for a crowd consisting largely of students eager to receive credit for their attendance. Cheng's name received top billing but none of the works performed featured her as a soloist. Program notes given from the stage included cellist Roger Lebow's apt description of the program as "four works that used to be avant-garde."
January 27, 1993 |
The Los Angeles-based chamber ensemble XTET--the "X" in this case being a variable number of players, between 2 and 12--presented a program of world premieres and other new works on the latest Monday Evening Concert, a noble, challenging and sometimes frustrating effort. The first performance of Arthur Jarvinen's "The Modulus of Elasticity" is a case in point.