The New Yorker: Timothy Andres's "Shy and Mighty" "Achieves an Unhurried Grandeur" Rarely Felt Since John Adams
In the latest issue of The New Yorker, in an article titled "Brazen," the magazine's classical music critic Alex Ross takes a look at the array of concerts presented by Carnegie Hall earlier this month that were curated by Louis Andriessen, "the most influential of Dutch composers," in his role as the Hall's Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair this season. These concerts, says Ross, showed that the composer has "an undiminished capacity for making mischief ... His pantheon of idols has Bach and Stravinsky at the center, but also makes room for Count Basie, Charlie Parker, and the Motown greats. At the age of seventy, he remains a bit of a badass."
Andriessen's own compositional and curatorial brazenness led Ross to examine the work of other contemporary composers willing to create independent of "a stylistic party line," who "have extended Andriessen’s governing idea that classical composition is not a distinct language but, rather, a musical matrix, able to subsume any sound."
Ross closes the piece with a look at 24-year-old composer Timothy Andres’s forthcoming Nonesuch debut album, the first recording of the piece Shy and Mighty, due out May 18. "Shy and Mighty is the kind of sprawling, brazen work that a young composer should write," Ross asserts. "For long stretches," he says, "the music achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene. The language is essentially Romantic, but progressions such as you might find in Chopin and Brahms are slowed down and elongated ... Nothing is harder for a young composer than to find an individual voice. Andres is on his way: more mighty than shy, he sounds like himself."
Read the complete article in the current issue of The New Yorker or online at newyorker.com.
Shy and Mighty is now available for pre-order in the Nonesuch Store, where you'll find Louis Andriessen's complete Nonesuch catalog as well.