MusicNow: There Will Be Blood | Harris Theater | Classical | Chicago Reader

MusicNow: There Will Be Blood Recommended All Ages Soundboard Image

When: Mon., Jan. 19, 7 p.m. 2015

The centerpiece of the year’s first MusicNow program is a performance of the suite from There Will Be Blood, a stirring, frequently shifting six-part composition by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, who trained as a classical violist before becoming a rock star. Last year Deutsche Grammophon released a lovely recording of the piece, performed by the Copenhagen Phil (the album also includes three pieces by Bryce Dessner of the National), and the influence of Krzysztof Penderecki shines through in Greenwood’s mix of percussive discord and sweeping romanticism. The Radiohead connection will probably bring listeners to this concert who rarely check out this sort of thing, and in anticipation the programmers have included other pieces that balance the concision and accessibility of rock music against the surprising timbres, experimental techniques, and dissonance of contemporary classical music. “A Wonderful Day” by CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Anna Clyne wraps a mesmerizing chamber arrangement around a field recording of bluesy singing and spoken word by local street musician Wooly; “120bpm,” part of Neither Pulley nor Anvil, a longer piece Dan Trueman composed for So Percussion, is a twitchy, kaleidoscopic array of post-techno electroacoustic beats. The program also includes Salvatore Sciarrino’s solo cello piece Ai Limiti Della Notte, a tour de force of whispery harmonics and brittle, frenzied bowing. Less promising is an homage to Russian composer and pianist Alexander Scriabin by local DJ Justin Reed and lighting designer Todd Clark, a symptom of this series’ misguided inclusion of electronica. —Peter Margasak

Price: $26


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