On a stage illuminated only by the dim blue light of lamps on music stands, the superb flutist Erin Lesser played lines that fluttered, dipped and soared over a bass drum that rolled like distant thunder.
The brilliant flutist Erin Lesser ended the first half with a virtuosic solo by Philippe Hurel called “Loops”. Ms. Lesser’s thoughtful playing guided the listener through a blazing path of variations on the starting motif.
Elliott Carter’s “Esprit Rude/Esprit Doux” (1984) received an equally fresh and engaging performance. Erin Lesser, the flutist, and Romie de Guise-Langlois, the clarinetist, made this quirky duet into an animated, richly detailed dialogue, with the right balance of technique, nuance and humor.
Each of these characters is associated in Ms. Soper’s flickering, agile score with a different instrument, “Peter and the Wolf” style, most notably the flutist (an excellent Erin Lesser) paired with Amelia Edwards...
“Flute and Orchestra”(1977/78), elegantly played by Erin Lesser in what was billed as an American premiere, offered greater variety and clearer volition in its shimmering constellation of sonic events.
Lesser was the able soloist, playing with warmth and virtuosity…
Everything about Drawn Only Once, an impeccably designed CD/DVD by the duo Due East that features Supko’s pieces, is spellbindingly beautiful.
Contra Culture are Erin Lesser and Carol McGonnell of New York’s Argento Ensemble. Argento have established a strong reputation in contemporary music, having worked closely with some of the biggest composers and having released recordings of works by Murail and Hurel on “Aeon” and “Supir/Plus loin…” Over the course of the evening they displayed an arsenal of technical prowess that others would be hard pressed to match.This was possibly the best concert of the series so far, and was witnessed by a full house. The main reasons for its success were the excellently weighted programme, the quality of the compositions and the power of the performances, which dealt the music a jolting spark. As healthy a picture as you could wish for was given of the current state of contemporary music, with works drawn from various countries.
As a performer Ms. Soper was, as ever, a powerful advocate for her music, as were the luminous yet earthy Brett Umlauf and Gelsey Bell. The flutist Erin Lesser, the violinist Joshua Modney and, on electronics, Sam Pluta made valuable contributions: These works demand precise interplay between vocalists and instrumentalists, and these musicians rose adroitly to the challenge.