Big Bang

Friday, November 13, 2009 | 8:00pm
Program Notes hosted by The Score Board at 7:00pm
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory
Edgard Varèse Ionisation (1931)
Lou Harrison La Koro Sutro, for chorus and American gamelan (1973)
Andrew Clark, Artistic Director
George Antheil Ballet mécanique, for eight player pianos, percussion, airplane propellers, electric bells, and siren (1924)

Gil Rose, conductor

The Score Board is a group of New England-based composers serving as BMOP's vanguard of composer-advocates through volunteerism, direct support and activities, community-building, and curating BMOP's annual Club Concert series.

News and Press

[Concert Review] Classical music review: BMOP's Big Bang
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) began its season in Jordan Hall on November 13 with an unusual and enthralling concert that it advertised as a “Big Bang” event. In all three works on the program the emphasis was on a huge assortment of percussion instruments both familiar and exotic.
The Arts Fuse Full review
[Concert Review] A congress of noise convened in Jordan Hall
The human desire to produce a loud noise by striking one object with another must be as old as communication itself, and like all histories, it has its high points and lows. The period between the two world wars, for instance, was a very good time for the art and science of banging. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project reminded us of this fact on Friday night with a memorable concert that was in equal parts ambitious musical event, cultural time warp, and sonic magical mystery tour.
The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] With hammer and feather BMOP goes percussive
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project has been all over the news for the promise of hearing the Boston premiere of the near-original version of George Antheil’s Ballet mécanique, which it delivered under the direction of Gil Rose at Jordan Hall on Friday the Thirteenth. About that more later, but the real story of this concert was the variety of sound and expression of which percussion ensembles are capable.
The Boston Musical Intelligencer Full review
[Concert Review] Ballet mécanique
The avante-garde and complexity of George Antheil’s Ballet mécanique probably explains why it hasn’t been performed for a live audience since 2001 and why it’s only been performed a few times since its original composition in 1924.
Object-Idea Full review
[News Coverage] Unusual arsenal for "Big Bang"
Eight player pianos, two grand pianos, four bass drums, four xylophones, an air-raid siren, and a gamelan that weighs nearly a ton - that’s just some of the equipment that the Boston Modern Orchestra Project will have on the Jordan Hall stage for “Big Bang,” tonight’s percussion-heavy season-opening concert. It’s a bang big enough to cause some logistical headaches, says BMOP’s music director, Gil Rose. “My orchestra manager decided she won’t kill me, but there has been some discussion of it,” he says, sounding not entirely unserious.
The Boston Globe Full coverage
[Concert Review] Big Bang: music of Antheil, Varèse, and Harrison
This performance earns a near perfect score for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) It’s not often that we hear George Antheil’s notorious Ballet Mécanique, partly because it is scored for sixteen synchronized player pianos. Back when Antheil wrote it, there was no way these speedy automatons could be synchronized; but now, in the electronic age, they can be. And they were. While this performance featured only eight player pianos, they effectively produced the intense sound Antheil could only dream about.
Stylus Full review
[Interview] Disklaviers, propellers, and electric bells: BMOP offers Antheil program
BMInt interviewed Paul D. Lehrman, composer, author, consultant, educator, one of the world’s leading experts on MIDI, computer music and expert on George Antheil, whose Ballet mécanique will be performed by Boston Modern Orchestra Project on November 13th at Jordan Hall. George Antheil is infamous as a “bad boy” composer. Is his Ballet mécanique music? Should we bring ear plugs?
The Boston Musical Intelligencer Full interview