Updoc #311, Friday 12/26 & Tuesday 12/30

In theTurnerBig lull between Christmas and 2015 Updoc zoned out on 19-year-old Benjamin Britten’s (presumed) melodification of ‘Lully Lullay’ in the Corpus Christi Carol, and then was lullled into programming two nearly motionless orchestral studies by Toru Takemitsu and Morton Feldman—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, New York Navel Observatory Time. There’s a tad more agitation in Ned Rorem’s Lions – A Dream, particularly when three-fourths of Branford Marsalis’s quartet—less a benched Joey Calderazzo, who thought he didn’t need to practice the piece that much—interrupts the orchestra; and British composer James Dillon’s walking tour of Manhattan, um, climaxes when he conjures La Femme Invisible for a large ensemble. Updoc has long resisted the nearly endless, much-praised chordal tremolos of the Alaska-dwelling elementalist John Luther Adams but has finally given way to Become Ocean, and not because it drenched the Pulitzer panel into submission this year: already lulled and overlulled, the show surrendered to the notion of the motion of the ocean—and forty-two minutes of gorgeous texture from the Seattle (where they know from water) Symphony Orchestra. Updoc #311 ends with Richard Wagner’s giant ripoff of JL Adams and all the Minimalists, the orchestral Vorspeil of Das Rheingold, the first of his four mighty operas about the unworthiness of big-name American beer. My mother used to rinse her hair with Rheingold and once lost her ring down the drain and there was almost no end to it. Heigh-a-to-ho and a happy new year.

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