Right away, the kinetic energy mounted furiously. The theme from the first movement of “A La Escuela,” inspired by equine school-bound journeys by country children, was built layer upon layer, until the trumpets were blaring while the drums and cajón (percussion instrument made out of a wooden box) mimicked an off-kilt horse’s gait. This pyramidal effect is common in Giraudo’s music, and so is the tendency to build immediately to tremendous levels of intensity.
Throughout the performance, those peaks of energy had such a magnetic pull that the more feathery sections almost seemed to require the most effort. Despite the predisposition toward the powerful and declamatory, the music was continually stirring thanks to its exuberance.
Perhaps it’s not so important that a musical work relate obviously to its title, but given the impressionistic labels of the pieces (‘A Trotando a la Escuela’
The Jazz Gallery's Large Ensemble Commission Series has featured performances by Darcy James Argue and Josh Roseman, and is planned so far through June, 2009, with premieres by Gregg August, David Binney, Jason Lindner, Yosvany Terry, John Ellis, and Sherisse Rogers. Visit the Jazz Gallery's website for more details.