Julian Carrillo was born in Mexico a few months before Charles Ives in Connecticut, and judging by a brief, tantalizing sample of his music played yesterday at the Philips Collection, he may be as interesting a composer. He began experimenting with microphones apparently around the turn of the century, though his first published works in the form date from the 20s. The single slow movement in quater-tones for unaccompanied violin, which was played by Texas violinist Julian Autrey in his Washington debut, combined modernity of effect with splendidly expressive, passionate, saoring melody.I would like to hear more of this composer - and, for the matter, this violinist.
Autrey is technically a fine player he became a member of the Austin Symphony when he was only 13 - nine years ago warm in tone, lyric and free in style; his interest seems to be diveded between the romantics and the moderns and he handled both well in a splendidly unhackeyed programs. Besides Carrillo, he played (with fine piano partnership by Rebecca Silver) the first Sonatina of Schubert, the hymn-packed Fourth Sonata of Ives and the First Sonata of Schumann.
A bit of Mozart or early Beethoven would have rounded out the profile of his skills effectively, but he performed the romantics and moderns so well that I couldn't really complain if he never plays a note from the classical period; besides, the slender, melodious Schubert is close enough to that style, and he caught precisely ist warm, unpretentious spirit.
He palyed the Ives, refreshingly, as a piece of musical impressionism rather than chance to indulge in schmaltzy nostalgiaz, emphasizing the slightly angular structures rather than the familiar and well-loved tunes that keep popping up. There were fleeting moments which, heard out of context, might have been mistaken for a fragment of Debussy, and I think this adds a valid note to our conception of Ives.
The Schumann (which normally I don't like all taht well) worked quite effectively - largely because the violinist took to heart the composer's instruction to play the first movement "mit leidenschaftlichem Ausdruck" - "with passionate expression."
WETA-EM will braodcast the recital at 9 p.m. on Jan. 8. Mark the date on your calendar.