Word is that composers of this decade have gone back to writing music accessible to the reasonably experienced listener. That may be so, but composer-conductor John Stephens apparently isn't having any of it.
His "Three for Four Plus One," a quintet in three movements for flute, viola, trombone, harp and percussion, had its premiere performance Sunday in a concert by the American Camerata for New Music (which Stephens conducts) at the UDC Auditorium, and, for this day and age, it is an unusually difficult work.
Stephens is a fine craftsman and this piece is full of marvelous textures and good sounds. It is the structure that is difficult to fathom at first hearing, and the ACNM would do its audiences a real service by playing such pieces twice at concerts like these.
Tenor George Shirley was the soloist for the first Washington performance of Lawrence Moss' "Voyages," a set of six songs for voice and chamber ensemble on texts of Walt Whitman.
Thesesw, are set with a sensitive ear to the mood of the poetry, and Shirley, for whom these were written, sang them with secure control and considerable beauty. The De Falla Harpsichord Concerto, with Russell Woolen as soloist, and the Villa-Lobos "Cho ros No. 7" completed this interesting and well-performed program.