LITTLE GEM

Great Noise Ensemble tackles Andriessen's 'De Materie'

The Great Noise Ensemble.
The Great Noise Ensemble. (Gene Carl Feldman)
  Enlarge Photo    
Sunday, September 12, 2010

You can't call "De Materie" small. Louis Andriessen is one of the biggest composers in Europe, and his vocal-orchestra piece "On Matter" opens with a bang, literally, that's repeated 144 times at full volume. And this piece's Washington premiere is by far the biggest thing ever essayed by the still-new Great Noise Ensemble, a group founded a few years ago over Craigslist. In fact, this Oct. 24 performance at the National Gallery shows a small group demonstrating large-scale ambitions -- and one of the most important compositions of the late 20th century. -- Anne Midgette


© 2010 The Washington Post Company