Critic’s Pick – Nashville Scene

ALIAS Chamber Ensemble

Wed., Nov. 12, 8 p.m.
@ Vanderbilt Steve & Judy Turner Recital Hall 2301 Vanderbilt Place (map)
Nashville Vanderbilt

You’ve probably never heard of the composers featured on ALIAS Chamber Ensemble’s opening show for their 2014-15 season, but that’s kind of the point. Continuing the ALIAS mission to leave no stone unturned, this week’s concert pays homage to the unsung heroes from various eras whose impact extends far beyond name recognition. Contemporary composers Toru Takemitsu, Kevin Volans and Steven Snowden share the bill with early-20th century composer Ernest Bloch and 17th century virtuoso Johann Schmelzer. As the backbone of Austrian Baroque, Schmelzer was destined for worldwide renown until his life was cut short by the plague in 1680. His Sonata for Violin and Continuo was a milestone for German-speaking composers, and the chamber ensemble will perform the work on period instruments. Other highlights include Takemitsu’s And Then I Knew ’Twas Wind, a fragile piece that unravels disconcerting textures inspired by Emily Dickinson’s eponymous poem, and Volans’ Hunting: Gathering, a flagship post-minimalist work originally written for the Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet. MATT FOX $5-$20