The concerts were so much fun! That first rehearsal kicked my butt, but from there on it was so... pithy? There were so many tricky-great phrases and spots for the violas to rock out. I love playing with this section. How many people get paid for something they love that much?
This is hands down one of the biggest, trickiest and most rewarding programs I've played in years. When people ask me what composers I like to play, I always tell them Stravinsky. Seriously, don't all professional classical musicians get, like, totally sick of people accosting them in line at the grocery store and on the treadmill at the gym to ask these sorts of things? I know. It's such a burden, this red-hot fame we violists especially bear. I recommend therapy. This glass of Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling is also helpful.
Anyway, if I really thought people were that deeply interested, I'd recommend Lutoslawski, too. In general his stuff requires a bit more of an investment from the LutosWHOski?! kind of ear.
I myself try never to dismiss new things quickly. (J is convulsing with suppressed inappropriate laughter. Ignore him.) With a lot of complex music a minimum of three relaxed listens are required to come to any conclusions or opinions. There are people who don't like program notes- the Pro Arte quartet never includes them. That's sad because the average listener needs some scraps of context to cling to in the onslaught of aural reference. The more possible connections a listener can find, the better.
Humans are context machines.
This won't resonate with everyone out there, but I have to say the same holds true for bible study. The more you know about the context of a book the better. N.T. Wright talks about the futility of a theology that fails to acknowledge history. You can't escape the influence of your own time on your worldview. You hear that, post-modernism?
Anyway, tomorrow morning we're whirling on to Shostakovich 8, so I better head off perchance to sleep. Woo!