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“Best of the Year” — The Gamelan Experience: From Debussy to Lou Harrison

PostClassical Ensemble’s “Cultural Fusion: The Gamelan Experience,” presented on January 23, 2019, at the Washington National Cathedral, was just named THE BEST CLASSICAL MUSIC EVENT of 2019 by Washington Classical Review.

To hear extended excerpts from this one-of-a-kind event — featuring Javanese and Balinese gamelans, and surveying more than a century of gamelan-inspired concert works – click here.

To read a pertinent blog, click here.

To read what Sudip Bose had to say in The American Scholar, read on:

“I finally heard both a Javanese and a Balinese gamelan. In collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy, the PostClassical Ensemble—one of the most innovative and stimulating groups around—traced the intricate connections between Java, Bali, and the West. . . . Lou Harrison’s colossal Piano Concerto from 1985 . . .  was the piece I was most eager to hear, its opening movement as vast as a canyon, the second filled with nimble virtuosity, the slow movement an extended prayer that gives way to a fleet finale. . . . How could so magnificent a concerto be so woefully neglected?

“These days, the word fusion . . . has become a cliché. But here was a vivid, persuasive argument in favor of embracing a fluid world culture. Works of the imagination should not be limited by borders, or by walls, and when art is born out of reverence, we the public should not be impeded by questions of ownership and accusations of appropriation. Not when the artworks in question move and enrich us all.”

To read the whole review, click here.

an ArtsJournal blog