By Ted AYALA
The citywide celebration of the centenary of English composer Benjamin Britten continues with the Salastina Society’s end of season concert on Sunday, June 9.
Featuring a program comprised of music by Britten as well as colleagues who influenced or were influenced by him, the music presents an incisive cross-cut of a 20th century musical discourse at odds with the avant-garde of its day. Instead these composers – Frank Bridge, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Aaron Copland, as well as Britten himself – sought to remake tradition into something vital and contemporary, seeking to find the new in the old, demonstrating that tonality had yet to exhaust itself.
Britten’s song cycle Les Illuminations, based on texts by Arthur Rimbaud, serves as the program’s centerpiece. Of note will be its presentation in a rarely heard chamber arrangement that strips away the larger forces of the better-known version. Soprano Adrienne Pardee will be performing the vocal part.
Also of note is Shostakovich’s early “Two Pieces for String Octet, op. 11,” its two movements immediately preceding and following his breakthrough “Symphony No. 1,” composed when he was 17. Its angry and spiky “Scherzo” looks forward to the manic, angry Shostakovich of later years.
The concert takes place at Thayer Hall in the Colburn School of Music in downtown Los Angeles. To obtain tickets and more information, go online to http://www.salastinasociety.org/, or call (323) 332-6874.