Music Preview: Can you handle this modern music?

poulencThe title of oboist Jared Hauser’s Wednesday night recital at the Blair School of Music seems delightfully provocative. It’s called simply, “What Modern Was.”

For classical music fans who fear tone clusters like snakes, and who believe 12-tone rows should be abolished along with waterboarding and lethal injection, the names Poulenc, Dutilleux, Persichetti and Lutoslawski probably do not engender warm and fuzzy feelings. True enough, those guys were not Tchaikovsky. But does their music, which is on Hauser’s program, still sound thorny and modern to contemporary ears?

You be the judge. Just click on the following links and decide for yourself.

French composer Henri Dutilleux composed around the same time as the unapologetically modern French composer Pierre Boulez. Dutilleux’s Sonate for Oboe and Piano opens Wednesday’s program. Hauser will follow with American composer Vincent Persichetti’s Parable III for Oboe, Polish composer Witold Lutosławski’s Epitaph for Oboe and Piano and French composer Francis Poulenc’s Sonata for Oboe and Piano.

If you think you can handle these (so-called) modern works, Hauser’s free concert with pianist Melissa Rose is 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Turner Recital Hall, 2400 Blakemore Ave.

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About John Pitcher

John Pitcher is the chief classical music, jazz and dance critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He has been a classical music critic for the Washington Post, the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, National Public Radio’s Performance Today (NPR), ArtNowNashville.com and the Nashville Scene. His writings about music and the arts have also appeared in Symphony Magazine, American Record Guide and Stagebill Magazine, among other publications. Pitcher earned his master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied arts writing with Judith Crist and Phyllis Garland. His work has received the New York State Associated Press award for outstanding classical music criticism.