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Composer Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann

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Program Notes:
Performed by: Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra

Jorge Grossmann’s Notus is a modern tone poem, taking inspiration from the ancient south wind of Greek mythology. Its shifting moods and morphing orchestral colors mimic the wind’s path from the Horn of Africa to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. The music itself is full of energized jagged lines, slower tunes wafting in the breeze, and music in between. Grossmann often looks to the work of Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti, and indeed, there is a bit of mecanismos in this music. But on the whole Notus tilts in a moodier, more brooding direction. When the faster, accented music enters, it too conjures for us a picture of the wind on its journey northward: blowing over the sea, leading ships along their courses, and bringing storms to the land. Notus plays in ancient Greek (and Roman) literary tradition, but what was it like for real people who found themselves at sea in those times? What was it like for those on the shore, pummeled by the southern wind’s sheets of rain?  —Matt Van Brink