Some ideas seem so utterly obvious and right at a glance that you wonder why it took someone so long to hatch them. “Twelve in 12” is that kind of notion—and saying so takes nothing away from conductor Julian Wachner, who has revitalized the justly renowned music program at Trinity Church Wall Street since becoming its director in 2010. Parceled across four Thursday lunch hours, “Twelve in 12” offers a dozen pieces by as many recent Pulitzer Prize winners—few of whom have received the kind of sustained attention the honor would seem to warrant.
The project is characteristic of Wachner, who on arrival assumed responsibility for the nonpareil Trinity Choir, and for the church’s ambitious concert series—both marquee events and bargain matinees, nearly all of them streamed live and archived on the church’s website (trinitywallstreet .org). An accomplished composer, Wachner founded Novus NY, Trinity’s first dedicated new-music ensemble. But before you could finish scribbling your wish list of pieces you wanted the new group to do—(cough) John Adams’s Harmonium (cough)—budgetary woes reined in ambitious desires.
But the hard times passed, or so it would seem from the vitality and ambition evident in “Twelve in 12,” which begins with works by Steven Stucky, Zhou Long and Paul Moravec. Subsequent weeks bring music by Jennifer Higdon, David Lang and John Corigliano (Sept 13); Kevin Puts and Yehudi Wyner (Sept 20); and John Adams, Henry Brant, Steve Reich and Ornette Coleman (Sept 27). Mark your calendars, and give thanks.—Steve Smith
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