Two pieces stood out as discoveries one would like to hear again and again- Brett Dean’s “Recollections” and Lee Hyla’s “Polish Folk Songs”. Hyla, who holds the Wyatt Chair of Music Composition at Northwestern University, offers a sometimes spirited, always affectionate, deconstruction of various Polish folk songs whose simple purity has haunted him since his youth. The songs are chopped up and put together as an evocative three-movement collage. Two melodicas (plastic keyboard harmonicas) evoke the rowdy discords of a slightly tipsy wedding party. The expert performance was marked by the distinguished solo playing of violinist Nancy Park, and other key musicians.
Performance on MusicNOW at the Harris Theater, The Chicago Symphony’s New Music Series
The Chicago Tribune
14 January 2009