New York Times reviews “Monochromatic Light (Afterlife)”: “a gesture of both respect and daring”

Zachary Woolfe of The New York Times has posted his review of this weekend’s performances of Tyshawn Sorey’s “Monochromatic Light (Afterlife).” Read the review here.

To quote just a few representative passages:

“Sorey, who has called [composer Morton] Feldman his hero, has responded to the chapel and its paintings — as well as to one of late-20th-century music’s classic works — bravely, with a small group of instruments virtually identical to those of “Rothko Chapel.”

“And Feldman’s sense of ritual — you always get the feeling that his ensemble is standing side by side, facing you and announcing the piece — is subtly different than Sorey’s, who implies more of a conversation, a circle. Sorey has shifted Feldman’s vocal soloist, a high female voice, to a low male one, and what was an evocation of the angelic has become something more medieval — a monk chanting in his cloister — and also more human.”

“For Sorey to interpolate his own invocation, his own heritage, history and memory, is a gesture of both respect and daring. Rarely does a composer present a new work haunted so openly and pervasively by a predecessor’s. But “Monochromatic Light” feels less like a nostalgia trip than a broadening of Feldman’s path deep into the pain and community of our time and the distant but resonant past.”