Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Friday 8/1 & Tuesday 8/5

One of the things I like best about Judith Weir’s music is that there’s only music in it: no dogma, no extraneous rhetorical gestures, no showy displays of compositional chops . . . you know what I mean: she’s pared it down to the essential, purely musical statement and that’s aplenty. I’m reminded of Sibelius’ claim to be providing pure spring water; Weir is in the same business. The sixty-year-old composer, raised in England but of Scottish origin, was recently made Master of the Queen’s Music—the musical equivalent of Poet Laureate—the first woman to hold that position, so this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Niagara Falls time— celebrates her with three pieces: a piano concerto, a string quartet, and her wonderful orchestral composition The Welcome Arrival of Rain. The rest of the show falls in line with modern melodic mostly non-abrasive music like Orion and the Pleiades by Takemitsu, Zemlinsky’s Sinfonietta, and the papa-daddy of the idiom, Jeux by Claude Debusssy—cooling summer music, it seems to me; in any case the kind of thing I’ve wanted to listen to this week. Come by for a sip if you like.WeirLarge

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