CUBE | Gottlieb Hall, Merit School of Music | Classical | Chicago Reader

CUBE Recommended Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sun., March 29, 4 p.m. 2009

Since 1987, CUBE—a contemporary ensemble specializing in chamber music for winds, piano, and percussion—has been attracting an adventurous and loyal following. The group’s two-concert series American Masterpieces: Chamber Music From Coast to Coast opens with a varied program of works by seven composers. George Crumb believes that his “natural acoustic” stems from the West Virginia river valley of his youth, and you can hear the “echoes and haunting sounds that cross the river at night” in his astounding “Gnomic Variations” for solo piano (1981). Joan Tower’s “Petroushskates” for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (1980) is an exuberant and clever homage to Stravinsky and figure skating. Though Henry Cowell isn’t at his most interesting in his 1954 quartet for flute, oboe, cello, and harpsichord, it’s a sunny neoclassical work. Michael Daugherty evokes 60s Las Vegas with his “Sinatra Shag” (1997) for flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion. Ulysses Kay’s “Suite for Flute and Oboe” (1943), Laurel Firant’s “Dance” (1994) for violin and piano, and an untitled new work for violin, viola, clarinet, cello, and piano by Bruce Saylor (former Lyric Opera composer in residence) complete the program. —Steve Langendorf

Price: $15; $10 for students, seniors, and educators

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