Last night we had a great evening of wining, dining and music. It was my first opportunity to hear the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. The program highlighted American contemporary composers, with a little dance thrown in at the end.
The concert opened with “Red Cape Tango” from the Metropolis Symphony by Michael Daugherty. It was a Tango with a symphonic twist, accompanied by a whole back row of percussion. This was followed by Sinfonia No. 4 “Strands” by George Walker, a native of DC who is still kicking at 93. My favorite of the evening was “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copland, a beautiful blend of sonorous lines traveling from winds to brass to strings and back again.
The program finale was a Violin Concerto by John Adams, performed by Leila Josefowicz, accompanied by the Jessica Lange Dance “Scape.” The dance was commissioned by the NSO through a grant from National Endowment for the Arts, choreographed specifically for the space. Note the random people up there in the gallery (below). They eventually made their way down to the stage where they combined and recombined into a variety of small ensembles in a continuous, flow of “massed sonorities riding on great rippling waves of energy” played ferociously by the violin; so says the program, and I would have to agree.