Acadia: Transcendent, Triumphant, and Free!
3 Apr 2012
Inside the Classics

It’s Tuesday morning, and I’m still decompressing from all the hoopla that surrounded Judd’s Acadia premiere last weekend. (The orchestra’s annual spring break week has never been better timed!) It was a wonderfully fulfilling, ultimately thrilling week of rehearsing and performing, and I’ll never forget the experience, but wow, was it ever draining, too! (This was due in no small part to the fact that Judd and his friends and family take their post-concert celebrations seriously, and I just couldn’t resist getting swept up in all that.)

The best thing about the week, of course, turned out to be the piece itself. World premieres are always risky, since you really don’t know what you’re going to get until the performance. I honestly would have been happy with a pretty good half-hour symphony that didn’t make any of our MicroCommission donors want their money back.

Instead, as anyone who was at either performance of Acadia now knows, Judd hit this thing out of the park. The audiences both nights were on their feet seconds after the applause began, and the ovation Judd received when he reached the stage for his bow on Friday was louder than anything I’ve heard at Orchestra Hall in a long, long time. The music was…

…well, I’ll let the professionals describe it.

“Acadia shows off Greenstein’s triumphant, transcendent vision… Greenstein has a remarkable command of the disparate voices within the ensemble, celebrating their individuality rather than bending them to the will of his vision… [I]f he keeps creating things as good as Acadia, we can only hope that commissions micro and macro keep pouring in.” -Rob Hubbard, St Paul Pioneer Press

“[A] significant addition to the orchestral repertoire… At times, the work sounded like a lush, epic film score, sometimes complicated by strong dissonances. But sections composed using modal scales created the feeling of innocent folk music… [Greenstein] always seemed completely in control of the effects he was creating. The world premiere performance will be available later this week as a free download… It is well worth hearing, especially given the orchestra’s fiery, committed performance.” – William Randall Beard, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Speaking of which, it’s download day, you guys! Check over in the right hand column of this page for the link to get your absolutely free download of Saturday night’s performance of Acadia, with no usage restrictions whatsoever. Burn it, torrent it, share it, talk it up on Twitter and Facebook, play it for your friends – especially if your friends are conductors or orchestra administrators! – and enjoy. (Late update: I’m hearing that the download is taking forever for some, which is probably because we’ve been promoting the heck out of it on Twitter and Facebook this morning, and we’re not exactly iTunes over here in terms of server capacity. You may have better luck if you wait a few hours…)

Oh, and hey? Let’s do this all again sometime. Exhaustion or no, the MicroCommission Project was the biggest and most satisfying thing I’ve ever been a part of, and I know how elated Judd was by the outcome. How do I know? Twitter, naturally.

We should really try to make another composer happy like that someday soon, doncha think?

<February 2020>

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