Encuentros: Mario Lavista
Mexican composer Mario Lavista, renowned at home but virtually unknown here, took the spotlight on Thursday night at the GALA Hispanic Theatre in Columbia Heights. In the first of a series of "Encuentros" (encounters) with contemporary Latin American composers, the enterprising Post-Classical Ensemble invited Lavista for an illuminating discussion of three of his works (all Washington premieres) with Artistic Director Joseph Horowitz. The music and the performances rewarded the attention.
In "Marsias," Lavista based on the Greek myth in which the main character problems of Apollo MusicMaking competition , oboe Wes Nichols broke appealing melodies and passionate screams. On the opposite side of the stage , tuned glasses filled with water to set their stride and playing members of the ensemble works moistened finger around their rims, created perfect harmony with the fifth steel shine that, like Apollo , do not recognize the problem. Claude Debussy reserved more memories "Syrinx " for flute solo, unwinds gracefully David Lonkevich, had an obvious kinship with Lavista « Three secular dances. " Last portrays the " three things - what to avoid any descriptive purposes - in courtship imaginary bird ," the composer told us in a program note. Cellist Evelyn Elsing and pianist Naoko Takao captured dancing " strange , affecting lyricism and the occasional odd whim .
Music Director Angel Gil-Ordonez and the Post-Classical Ensemble presented "Reflections of the Night," for string orchestra, at both the beginning and at the end of the program, each time in appropriately low light. Lavista had the strings play harmonics throughout -- the eerie, whispery reflections of fundamental pitches that are never heard. The sheer otherworldliness of the sounds dominated first impressions, but upon closer acquaintance, the piece's glissandi, dynamic shifts and flickering melodies conjured a hypnotic musical landscape.