The history making trio of Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Mark O’Connor perform O’Connor’s composition ‘Poem for Carlita” at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. The three virtuoso string players performed this new American Classical music with such depth, passion and detail that the New York City audience erupted in an ovation after Yo-Yo Ma’s final – nearly silent harmonic note. Notice the look of admiration on O’Connor’s face as he looks at Ma at the conclusion of the piece, impressed by the cellist’s interpretive skills of his music. It is evident that this performance went to a new place for the trio and a new level for American Classical string playing.
REVIEW: Chicago Tribune
Based on the two most extended pieces the trio played Monday, “Vistas” and “Poem for Carlita,” it seems that O’Connor’s composing has broken through to a new, and deeper, level.
“Poem for Carlita” was even more affecting. Though completely tonal, the harmonic profile of the yearning main theme brought to mind Shostakovich’s mid-to-late string quartets, in that the beauty was laced with moments of uneasy tension. The work has the potential to become a classic, especially if arranged for a more typical ensemble, such as a string quartet.” -by David Royko, Chicago Tribune
Composer’s notes on ‘Poem for Carlita.’
“In contemporary vocal music, there is a form called a story song. It is an odd form in that it does not contain any departure from the central idea; therefore there is no “return.” The story has a beginning and ending but uses subtle variation to push the idea along its way…much the way loving relationships evolve.
The equivalent of the story song in classical music is a Poem, and this is what I have called this piece. An inspiration I used for my musical poem was the ocean and it’s repetition of waves as they fall in to the shoreline. I grew up near the ocean and remember how the sounds of the relentless waves used to calm me. While it was the repetitive sound of the sea that moved me as a child, today, I observed that each wave was not the same but in fact slightly different. I was amazed that it seemed that no two waves looked or sounded the same to me. Each day was just something a tiny bit different. It was very natural to make these kinds of life experience connections. Bridges that joined nature, love and art.
The poem begins slowly and inquisitively and builds through in intensity with loud and mightily passionate moments of emotion before the music comes down peacefully and reflectively, until the last statement played by the violin signifies that the sea is calm once again.” -Mark O’Connor
Original chamber music composed by Mark O’Connor presents his own musical journey and explores new ways for musicians to communicate to each other and to audiences. O’Connor has always described his highly personalized style of playing and composing in terms of “crossing bridges.”
As a child, O’Connor’s musical training included many styles (classical, folk and jazz) and this blending of styles and influences is evident throughout his career and in his acclaimed compositions.
O’Connor’s chamber music, featuring string instruments, intricately and delightfully paints colorful musical canvasses that reveal his unique, personal artistic journey. It’s a journey one critic acclaimed
“one of the most spectacular in American music.”
The O’Connor Method for Violin and Strings
For more information on Mark O’Connor, String Camps, The O’Connor Method, ensembles, repertoire, sheet music and more, please visit http://www.markoconnor.com
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