Great Noise Ensemble tackles Andriessen's 'De Materie'

Sunday, September 12, 2010; E17

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

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