Contemporary European composers are by and large ignored this side of the Atlantic, so it's no surprise that Ada Gentile, Sonia Bo, and Betty Olivero--who are Italian and only in their 30s--are virtually unknown in the U.S. In fact, the chamber works by all three that make up half of this free recital arranged by the Art Institute (to draw attention to its new 20th-century wing) have never been recorded. The two I've heard are notable for their deliberate dissonance: Gentiles Insight (for two violins and viola) weaves cluttered textures within a narrow range of sounds, evoking only two moods, strident angst and contemplative stillness. The Two Bagatelles for Flute and Guitar by Bo, fighter in instrumentation and more kinetic, yields nary a melody line. Their American counterparts, at least the ones represented on this program, are more accessible, tonal works that use dissonance only as special effect. Joan Tower and Augusta Read Thomas are both known for their prolificness and impressive collections of fellowships and prizes, and both of the pieces that represent them here (Tower's Snow Dreams, for flute and guitar, and Thomas's string quartet Streams of Allusion) are deliberately evocative and moody. The program also holds Gentile's Flashback and Olivero's Cubi. Performers include flutist Caroline Pittman, guitarist Jeffrey Kust, violinist Tom Yang, and clarinetist J. Lawrie Bloom. Tower and Gentile will be on hand to discuss their work. Sunday, 2 PM. Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago, Michiggan and Adams; 324-7970 or 443-3600.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Adn Kronos.