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André Previn

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Octet for Eleven (2010)
G Schirmer Inc
Large Ensemble (7+ players)
Sub Category
Year Composed
16 Minutes
Programme Note
André Previn Octet for Eleven (2010)
October 17, 2010
Boston Symphony Chamber Players
Boston, MA

The premiere was a deft chamber symphony from the musical polymath André Previn; the work's not-inconsiderable charm began with its title, Octet for Eleven, a conflation of Previn's originally projected dimensions and subsequent expansion to, indeed, 11 players. The piece balances contrasting styles and moods, light and dark, though a poised urbanity wins out in the end. An out-of-focus wind chorale bumps up against some lyrical string Americana; a lush crush of clustered low dissonance sets up a cinematic, love-theme-worthy melody for violin (Malcolm Lowe). Bassist Edwin Barker's angular solo to start the slow movement turned into tangled, intense counterpoint, setting the table for skittish syncopations. In the finale, precipitous hurtles for horn and trumpet (James Sommerville and Thomas Rolfs) ignite more juxtapositions of bounciness and ballad. Everything feels casually accomplished. The music gets by largely on personality — but how many personalities are as cultured and multifaceted as Previn's? Octet for Eleven is civilized good company.
Matthew Guerrieri, Boston Globe,19/10/2010
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