What's New: 9/11 Music

Sep 9, 2016

Conductor JoAnn Falletta
Credit alchetron.com

Conductor JoAnn Falletta shared: "Can anyone be the same after 9/11? Can I ever forget the images I saw on television...or later, the heartrending homemade altars of flowers and candles on the New York city streets we thought were invincible?

Most of all, I remember how important it was to be together that weekend at our concert, to sit in that darkened hall and draw comfort from Beethoven and from each other, to sing our National Anthem with a searing intensity we had never felt before, to believe that the part of man that could create such beauty as music was the part of us that would sustain and heal us and, somehow, make us whole again."

We’ll hear music inspired from events on September 11, as well as some of the composers on today’s What’s New!


 

Pianist and Composer David Benoit
Credit John Clare

Music by Robert Moran, Augusta Read Thomas, Steve Reich, David Benoit, Eric Ewazen, Toby Twining, Richard Danielpour, John Adams, and Kevin Puts are featured in this episode. 

While Penn & Teller are not composers, they are artists - wonderful magicians who I met in Las Vegas. I became friends with Teller and we worked together for the Las Vegas Chamber Music Society to bring all six Bartok String Quartets with the Colorado String Quartet. Later he conducted a Purcell suite on my farewell concert. I adore his genius and thoughtfulness, and knew he might have something to say about this question. Here is his response:

After 911, Penn and I felt we had to omit from our show our deeply patriotic piece that uses the American flag. The piece, actually written a couple years before in response to experiences in repressive foreign countries, suddenly felt wrong. In our piece, we celebrate the way the flag expresses our pride in the Bill of Rights. In the wake of 911, the image of the flag had become tied to grief, loss, and mourning. To do our trick at that time would have seemed either disrespectful or pandering. As the nation recovered, we were able to restore it to our repertoire, and we now perform it at virtually every live show.

What’s New is a production of WBAA Classical, a listener supported broadcast service of Purdue University.