Even when I do find time to listen to the radio these days, I rarely encounter a program that gives me the same sense of excitement and discovery that I felt as a child. But a few weeks ago I did, while listening to an Internet show called PostClassical, which features concert performances by the Post-Classical Ensemble, an innovative group of musicians now in residence at Washington’s National Cathedral. Led by the historian and writer Joseph Horowitz and the conductor Angel Gil-Ordoñez, the ensemble puts on concerts that are far from typical and often experimental, with the aim of contextualizing a composer or a piece of music with verse, theater, film, or dance. Every two months, Horowitz and Gil-Ordoñez join radio host Bill McGlaughlin (the former host of the aforementioned Saint Paul Sunday Morning) in the studio, to discuss their concerts in depth.
One of D.C.’s most unconventional and adventurous musical ensembles is set to transform the iconic Washington National Cathedral into a cutting-edge venue for the city’s vibrant music scene. PostClassical Ensemble, named the new ensemble-in-residence at the cathedral, is bringing an exciting, innovative inaugural season of music to Washingtonians. Expect unusual, utterly surprising performances from this self-described “experimental orchestral laboratory” that will shake up your view of both classical music and the cathedral itself.
A partir de este otoño, el PostClassical Ensemble se ha convertido en Ensemble-Residence en la Catedral Nacional de Washington y será allí donde, el día 7 de diciembre, el día que los norteamericanos recuerdan el bombardeo de Pearl Harbor, se lleve a cabo un nuevo concierto que yuxtapone las ideas que, sobre la Segunda Guerra Mundial, expusieron en sus obras Dmitri Shostakovich, Arnold Schoenberg y Hanns Eisler.
The PostClassical Ensemble announced Friday that after 14 itinerant seasons, it has found a stable home — at Washington National Cathedral. Starting next season, it will become the cathedral’s newest ensemble-in-residence. This means that the ensemble, which calls itself “an experimental orchestral laboratory” and has performed in venues from the Indonesian Embassy to the Library of Congress, will present three of next season’s concerts at the cathedral, two of them in collaboration with the cathedral’s chorus. It will continue to perform in other locations around Washington as well.
PostClassical Ensemble: Full-on activists. Galvanizing issue: Diplomacy. “We’ve never practiced art for art’s sake,” Horowitz, 70, says of the cross-disciplinary organization created in 2003. “Our premise is that music is an instrument for human betterment.” Both men are international-minded: This spring, Gil-Ordóñez, 59, led an exchange that took his Georgetown University students to Cuba, and that brought visiting Cuban musicians to the Washington campus. “Instead of building walls, building bridges,” Gil-Ordóñez told Washingtonian magazine this spring.
If today we remember Redes, it’s because the Spanish conductor Ángel Gil-Ordóñez has recovered for the Naxos record label the original soundtrack of the film that was recorded and interpreted in a deficient way at the time, and because Gil-Ordóñez himself interprets it today, At 8 pm at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid.
Ángel Gil-Ordóñez (Madrid, 1957) has been giving all he’s got for years as director of the PostClassical Ensemble in Washington, an unorthodox orchestra where the members have a didactic and contextualized way of interpreting classical music.
The film [Redes] (1936) had been restored at the initiative of Martin Scorsese, but the soundtrack required an exhumation effort. And it is where Maestro Ángel Gil-Ordóñez intervened, rebuilding the score and the orchestral version until endowing it with a protesting impulse.