Anat Cohen brings new concerto to Chicago

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Thursday January 31, 2019

From The Chicago Tribune

Clarinet star Anat Cohen brings new concerto to Chicago
By: Howard Reich

When the Anat Cohen Tentet played the University of Chicago’s Logan Center in 2017, listeners had to be struck not only by the band’s range of repertoire but its breadth of instrumental color.

Cohen’s buoyant clarinet lines soared above and among the plush tones of fluegelhorn, vibraphone, accordion, drums and what-not. To hear a soloist of Cohen’s stature surrounded by so much glowing, shimmering sound was to encounter her music in a welcome new light.

All of that ‘” and more ‘” should emerge in Orchestra Hall on Friday evening, when Cohen plays just the second performance of ‘Triple Helix,’ a concerto written for her and the Tentet by longtime collaborator Oded Lev-Ari. Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and Symphony Center, the three-movement work had its world premiere Jan. 12 in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and appears to have stretched the talents of both soloist and composer.

‘We’ve known each other since we were in high school in Israel,’ says Lev-Ari [about Anat Cohen], ‘went through musical experiences together and separately, but there’s something that has remained unchanged from that initial encounter. And it’s unchanged regardless of the style or genre or the setting we work in, whether a (recorded) live performance or if we just play in her living room.’

So with ‘Triple Helix,’ ‘I’m chasing that idea a little bit, as I’m trying to figure out what it is that is that connection.’

The connection of course, is music, but its specific character perhaps can be fully expressed not through words or gesture but only through sound.

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