Critic’s Choice

Tue Nov 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Talea Ensemble
Talea Ensemble

Amid the plethora of holiday music concerts this week, there is some interesting counter-programming of 20th- and 21st-century music.

Contempo opens its 52nd season Friday night at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center with “Interplay,” a bracing program of theatrically conceived 20th-century works. The New York-based Talea Ensemble will perform John Cage’s Living Room Music, Stockhausen’s Der kleine Harlekin, Mauricio Kagel’s Sur Scene, and Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King. Performance time is 7:30 p.m. at the Logan Center.

Enno Poppe will be the guest conductor with Ensemble Dal Niente this Sunday. The German composer will lead Dal Niente in three of his own works: Stoff, Holz and Theme with 840 Variations. Also on tap is Michael Pelzel’s …sentiers tortueux… and Rebecca Saunders’ Vermilion. Concert time is 4 p.m. at the Merit School of Music’s Gottlieb Hall.

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