‘Phenomenal’ music

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By Willem Weinstein

The word is “phenomenal.” Listening to music played well can fill a person with an extreme sense of wonder and awe bordering on euphoria and ecstasy.

Such was my experience when enjoying the quartet of classical musicians, “Brooklyn Rider,” last Thursday in Memorial Chapel.

The band consists of Johnny Gandelsman (violin), Colin Jacobson (violin), Nicholas Cords (viola) and Eric Jacobson (cello).

At this event they premiered their own original piece, “Seven Steps,” a collection of ridiculous notes made to sound as if they were being played by on a keyboard or percussion set; quick and sharp, amazing and complicated.

Unfortunately the piece was not quite to my musical ear (I favor a more slower and deeper sound), but I could still admire their accomplishment and the near impossible-ness of the piece.

The quartet also featured a song composed by Philip Glass: the Quartet No. 3, “Mishima.” The piece was just plain beautiful. I had never heard a Philip Glass piece before the concert and it was breathtaking.

This piece consisted of a type of classical music much more to my liking, with sustained wonderfully resonating notes that made full use of the surprisingly fantastic acoustics of the Nott Memorial.

I find that classical music seems to have a bit of a disconnection to the modern music world, associated with not the mainstream, but instead left to the side and often forgotten by the general media.

It is immensely uplifting to see such a wondrous group as Brooklyn Rider take on and perform some of the most heart-wrenching pieces of the classical genre.

Even if you have complete disregard for classical, or just haven’t checked out any part of the genre, I would still recommend investigating Brooklyn Rider and their amazing repertoire of sound. I can still think of only one word to describe them: phenomenal.

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