NEC music history chair Katarina Markovic writes in retrospect on NEC’s 2011 season of Mahler Unleashed programs, a project that mushroomed out of an offhand remark she made to NEC President Tony Woodcock earlier in the year. Below is an excerpt on Ran’s performance. To read Katarina Markovic’s full article, CLICK HERE.
“And what finally convinced me that this was all worth doing was hearing Ran Blake’s “Mahler Noir” at the end of the eclectic “Mahler in Chinatown” concert (clarification of this title: still pending). To hear Mahler’s music embedded in Ran’s inimitable harmonies and timbres, through his own mirror of the Mahlerian hope/horror, sublime/absurd polarities, showed that even without recognizing bits and pieces of his music (like in Stookey or Berio), Mahler is not just going to be an admired composer of the past, but somehow will continue to save people’s lives when they least expect it and most need it, even beyond the “Mahler year.”
Once he is “unleashed,” anything is possible. Stay tuned…”
By Katarina Markovic, 2/20/12