I only caught the second half of this year’s Sick Puppy Iditarod, the summer program’s marathon final concert that took up a good part of last Saturday, but that was still 4+ hours of fun. Some of my favorites: pianist Eiko Sudo’s sharp-dressed, unscheduled reading of John Cage’s “Seven Haiku”; Meghan Miller, David Russell, and Nicolas Gerpe’s appropriately spacey, far-out rendition of George Crumb’s Vox Balanae; and pianist Christina Wright’s bouncy, balmy playing of “Short Summer Dance” by SICPP’s composer-in-rsidence, Jo Kondo.
Part 6, the last of the concert, might have been the best. Frederic Rzewski’s “Moonrise With Memories” was limpid and gorgeous, anchored by trombonist Brandon Newbould, who was memorably joined by violinist Ethan Wood and clarinetist Ariana Lamon-Anderson taking vocal turns in the introduction to the second part. Helmut Lachnemann’s “temA” found mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo, flutist Miller, and cellist Rachel Arnold crisp and crazy, gracefully surmounting each new extended technique. And guest percussionist Mathias Reumert fomented a terrific six-player account of Louis Andriessen’s “Workers Union,” a riot of loud, funky lockstep clusters that is now my favorite post-midnight programming choice.
As usual, the long evening closed with Michael Finnissy’s “Post-Christian Survival Kit,” with the new-to-SICPP addition of singers bringing out the ecclesiastical echoes behind the freeform folly. The marathon has become one of the best nights among Boston’s dog days.
You can find a review of last year’s Iditarod here.