young, bearded, and wearing a long dark vest over a black-and-white striped shirt, *yossif ivanov walked on stage looking like a very dapper pirate in absolutely no need of an eye patch. instead of a gleaming sword, this 26-year-old flemish phenom brandished a 313-year-old fiddle worth over 2 million smackers… a stradivarius that goes by the name of lady tennant. [fact checkers here at the cb home office possess whole binders full of violins named after women.] anywho, mr. ivanov was in town to tackle some very modern, very dissonant, very atonal music written way back in 1985 by frenchman henri dutilleux – who at 96 is alive and (hopefully) well and living in paris. truth be told, this rodent is hard-pressed to call monsieur dutilleux’s composition “music” because what my furry little ears picked up monday night could best be described as noise without the expected trappings of melody and rhythm. it wasn’t pretty. [at one point, an image passed through my head of a shrieking tortoiseshell cat thrown into the dreaded shower scene of psycho.] those in attendance monday night were forced to reckon with the stand-alone sonic qualities of volume, pitch, and tone in a performance that would have fit perfectly within pica’s annual time-based-art festival. it wasn’t pretty, but it was utterly fascinating: i say bravo to the brave artistic vision that delivered something so uniquely original and so shockingly bold to an unsuspecting classical crowd. and before we put a bow on this blog post: extra-special beavertail salutes go out to karen’s oboe of love and carol’s piano of fury ~ what a treat!
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