Standing ovation for composition featuring Tate poems

Poetry by professor James Tate was the centerpiece of two pieces composed and conducted by Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary music director Charles Wuorinen in performances Aug. 3-4 in Tanglewood''s Ozawa Hall.

The pieces included a world premiere of Wuorinen''s "It Happens Like This," a new cantata built from settings of seven Tate poems and scored for four singers with chamber ensemble; and "Never Again the Same," described by of the Boston Globe as "a pithy vocal-instrumental duo for bass (David Salsbery Fry) and tuba (Jose Martinez Anton), full of deft vocal writing underscored by the tuba''s playful commentary and daubs of color."

Priscilla McLean, writing for the Times-Union of Albany, wrote "The poems are surreal and original, and were expertly brought to life through Wuorinen''s fine sense of balance and orchestration. The 12-tone method of composing, Wuorinen''s hallmark, served as a bulwark, and each song had its own distinctive style and drama, the music sometimes spiky, and sometimes tonal."

"With a standing ovation to end the evening, the night was a happy occasion for the opening of this festival, and Charles Wuorinen, its new director," she addd.

Photo above: Stu Rosner for the Boston Globe