I went to a most unusual and inspiring concert last night at Carnegie Hall, and have to say that it is one that will stay with me the rest of my life.
Thomas Adès (composer, pianist) and Ian Bostridge (tenor) performed works by Adès, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt, Dowland, Kurtag.
Adès is a composer and superb pianist, so he comfortably experiments with different points of view on traditional works, with the result that every work is made brand new because of his innovative ear. Was that truly Liszt? Yes! But from an interpretive angle that I had never considered … or ever heard.
Bostridge is an artist whose voice is like a bottomless glass. There is no limit or end to the creative texture that he can produce, and from very deep inside him. I was on the edge of my seat all night attending to the paths that he opened up with each successive phrase.
Together, this truly great collaboration, made paradoxically, a lasting, ephemeral work of the highest art last night.
Afterwards the concert made me think long and hard about the forces of innovation and creativity. They are not the same, yet are deeply connected. They do not reside in isolation, but move both within and between people. Innovation and creativity rest clearly on a foundation of craft, artisanship, dedication, exploration, connection, investigation.
The performance by Adès and Bostridge was physical, living proof of this as they each embodied, threw back and forth between them, and played effortlessly with the most powerful forces in the universe.
11/29/2011: NY Times review that captures the musical detail.