Going Old School

A few words form Jae Young Cosmos Lee, the curator of our upcoming Old School concert, about what it means to be Old School...

The term Old School usually refers to things in culture, have it be music , literature, or technology, conjuring up a style from an earlier era. Commonly it is used to suggest a lasting quality and a high regard for a style which is "old-fashioned". In our time, a device like the "iPod" —though it was merely 15-years ago that it forever changed the way people listened to music—would be considered an Old School machine, for a nation of people now having the same functions on their iPhones.

All the pieces on A Far Cry's program "Old School" are also looking at these qualities in remembering a different period, mood, specific event or even an earlier composition. W.A. Mozart retools his complex C-minor Fugue for four hands, K.426, paying homage to the great Fugues of J.S. Bach, and adding an original Adagio to preface the retooled version 5 years later.

Osvaldo Golijov, considered by many to be the modern day classical remix artist,  writes his Three Songs in many different styles, referring to the Jewish Klezmer tradition in "Night of the Flying Horses" and quoting Couperin in "Lùa Descolorida." Michael Tippett's Fantasia Concertante on a Theme by Corelli, directly quotes Arcangelo Corelli's concerto grosso in F major, op.6 no.2, along with J.S. Bach's B-minor Organ Fugue, BWV. 579. It was written for the commemoration of the 300th year of Corelli's birth in 1953 and is considered by many to be Tippett's "perfect" work.

A Far Cry has now played two symphonies by Mozart: nos. 38 and 40, both considered towering achievements in his instrumental output during his late period. I wanted us to do an Old School Mozart symphony, one that didn't lack invention or charm, with a lot of young Mozartean flamboyance. The A-major Symphony no.29 is such a work, written when he was only 18, but prefaced with 28 "child prodigy" symphonies before that time, along with half a dozen operas. 

A Far Cry will go Old School on your ears.



Tickets are still available for performances on Thursday, March 5th, at the Gardner and Friday, March 6th, at Jordan Hall.