Chicago Composers' Consortium | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Chicago Composers' Consortium

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Andrew Imbrie is known for his meticulous craftsmanship and intellectual respectability, but it's his music's serene confidence that distinguishes him from the pack. The retired Berkeley professor's idiom is freely atonal and heavy on chromaticism, which allows him to paint spare and hauntingly beautiful soundscapes. This Chicago Composers' Consortium chamber concert will feature two of Imbrie's compositions. In the Roethke Songs for soprano and piano (1980), he has set five texts by the New York poet Theodore Roethke in a direct, jocular manner that plays up the poems' disciplined diction and meters. With Three Pieces for Mixed Chorus (1965), using short works by E.E. Cummings and a few other writers, he demonstrates an early interest in placing the madrigal in a contemporary context. Other composers on the program--all members of the consortium--are Lawrence Axelrod, who used his song cycle Ophelia (1993), scored for baritone and chamber ensemble, to vent his zany postmodernism; Pieter Snapper, whose 1991 song cycle Dans l'oblique du froid is the opposite in temperament, highly romantic yet restrained; and Betsy Start, whose Fedge was written for guitarist Jeffrey Kust, who'll give its first performance. Performers include baritone Jeffrey Strauss, soprano Lisa Feurzeig, and pianists Kurt Westerberg and Axelrod. Imbrie will be on hand for a preconcert chat at 7. Wednesday, 8 PM, Three Arts Club, 1300 N. Dearborn; 677-6347 or 548-7721.

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