Critic’s Choice

March 27, 2018 at 5:48 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Galina Ustvolskaya

Galina Ustvolskaya

Sound Icon, one of Boston’s most ambitious and engaging new music ensembles, closes its season this week with the Fromm Concert at Harvard University. The program will shine the spotlight upon Galina Ustvolskaya‘s Symphony No. 2.

Subtitled “True and Eternal Bliss,” the work for vocal soloist and chamber ensemble draws upon texts from 11th-century German monk Hermannus Contractus. Like her other music, Ustvolskaya’s Second Symphony unfolds through dense clusters of sound that seem to sting the ear. Indeed, as Guardian critic Tom Service has stated, the work had “a cathartic power.” Baritone Ryne Cherry will perform as baritone soloist. 

Filling out the program will be Ustvolskaya’s Duet for violin and piano, Graciela Paraskevaidis’ algún sonido de la vida, and Ben Johnston’s String Quartet No. 5. Jeffrey Means conducts. 

The performance will take place 8 p.m. Saturday at Harvard University’s Paine Hall. 

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