An avid champion of new works and younger composers, Chicago Pro Musica is always on the lookout for emerging local talents who can tailor pieces to the group’s flexible instrumentation. At this recital two such compositions receive their first performances: Gyula Fekete’s Morocco and Lawrence Rapchak’s Troika. Fekete, a Hungarian emigre who’s studying with William Karlias at Northwestern, has come up with a six-minute musical “game”–the title refers to an Eastern European version of pickup sticks–in which layers of sounds pile up on one another. Like many composers these days, including academic ones, Fekete uses assorted idioms–from Baroque to folk–to create a sonic goulash. Morocco is scored for the Pro Musica’s core quintet of violin (Albert Igoinikov), clarinet (John Bruce Yeh), bassoon (William Buchman), horn (Daniel Gingrich), and double bass (Joseph Guastafeste). Troika calls for a larger force of 12 instruments, including accordion (Joseph Vitaterna) and cimbalom (Collins Trier). The eclectic 20-minute work, inspired by incidents from Tolstoy’s War and Peace, evokes the merrymaking of a Christmas Eve sleigh ride. It concludes with a first-ever cadenza for basset horn and cimbalom. Also on the program is Howard Sandroff’s Tephillah for clarinet and computer-controlled sound processors. Premiered in 1990 by Yeh, it expands on the spatial scheme of Boulez’s Dialogue. As the live sounds of the clarinet are electronically processed and amplified throughout the auditorium, listeners find themselves in a sonic hall of mirrors. Beethoven’s cutesy Septet in E-flat Major rounds out the program. Sunday, 7 PM, Grainger Ballroom, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Yael Routtenberg.