A view from across the reflecting pool of the "Remembering September 11" concert by the Wordless Music Orchestra — conducted by Ryan McAdams, presented at The Temple of Dendur in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2011.

A view from across the reflecting pool of the "Remembering September 11" concert by the Wordless Music Orchestra — conducted by Ryan McAdams, presented at The Temple of Dendur in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2011. Melanie Burford for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Melanie Burford for NPR

Classics in Concert

'Remembering Sept. 11' At The Temple Of Dendurq2

'Remembering Sept. 11' At The Temple Of Dendur
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/145306399/140385119" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

At the conclusion of the astonishing "Remembering September 11" concert, held by the Wordless Music Orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, the audience responded with utter eloquence: two minutes of astonished silence, followed by wild applause.

The concert, presented as a live webcast by NPR Music and Q2, can now be heard as an archive stream — and it is an unmissable event.

Led by the dynamic conductor Ryan McAdams, New York's Wordless Music Orchestra performed four works centered on the idea of loss and remembrance. The program featured the world premiere of Maxim Moston's orchestration of an arresting work by William Basinski, The Disintegration Loops.

The concert also included three pieces for string quartet: Ingram Marshall's Fog Tropes II, Osvaldo Golijov's Tenebrae and Alfred Schnittke's Collected Songs Where Every Verse Is Filled With Grief, passionately and movingly performed by violinists Keats Dieffenbach and Caroline Shaw, violist Nadia Sirota and cellist Clarice Jensen.

The concert was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur, a Egyptian sandstone edifice from about 15 B.C. Now surrounded by a reflecting pool — evoking the waters of the Nile and housed within a glass atrium that overlooks Central Park — the temple is a space which lends itself beautifully to musical contemplation.

All the works on this program are haunting reflections on loss, grief and remembrance, interweaving past and present in hypnotic and moving arcs. For example, Golijov — with the violence of historical and contemporary Jerusalem in mind — loops melismatic quotations from Baroque composer François Couperin's somber Troisieme Leçon de Ténèbres.

Basinski's The Disintegration Loops had its genesis in the physical process of decay. In the midst of archiving and digitizing analog tapes from the early 1980s, the composer realized that his material was literally disintegrating, leaving eerily silent passages in the midst of lush, pastoral music — "my paradise lost," he says. He was finishing work on The Disintegration Loops as the destruction of Sept. 11 unfolded; he watched from his Brooklyn roof, just over the river from downtown Manhattan.

Set List

Osvaldo Golijov: Tenebrae

Ingram Marshall: Fog Tropes II

Alfred Schnittke: Collected Songs Where Every Verse is Filled with Grief

Performed by Wordless Music Orchestra members: Keats Dieffenbach and Caroline Shaw - violin; Nadia Sirota - viola; Clarice Jensen - cello

William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops, dlp 1.1 (world premiere orchestration by Maxim Moston)

Credits

Performed by the Wordless Music Orchestra, Ryan McAdams, conductor. Recorded by Josh Rogosin for NPR.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Classical

Conductor Mariss Jansons led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall Wednesday in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, "Leningrad." AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Mariss Jansons leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's wartime epic.

The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474662768/475125195" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Michael Mizrahi channels the harpsichord in new music by Troy Herion. Eno Swinnen/Courtesy of the Artist hide caption

toggle caption Eno Swinnen/Courtesy of the Artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Michael Mizrahi, 'Harpsichords'

Pianist Michael Mizrahi channels old school harpsichord music in a new piece by Troy Herion.

Music director Iván Fischer leading an Budapest Festival Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall in New York Thursday. A.J. Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption A.J. Wilhelm for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

Budapest Festival Orchestra Plays Carnegie Hall

Iván Fischer conducts a Liszt piano concerto with soloist Marc-André Hamelin.

Budapest Festival Orchestra Plays Carnegie Hall
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/466299701/467669984" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lawrence Brownlee performs with pianist Jason Moran in the active crypt below the historic Church of the Intercession in Harlem. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Field Recordings

Singing For Life In A Crypt In Harlem

Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee joins jazz pianist Jason Moran in an old spiritual.

Tiny Desk Concert with Teddy Abrams Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Teddy Abrams

Hear a young conductor, composer and pianist play Beethoven and his own jazzy pieces.

Conductor Simon Rattle took his Berlin Philharmonic and symphonies by Beethoven to Carnegie Hall for a week-long residency. AJ Wilhelm/NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm/NPR

Classics in Concert

Beethoven Symphonies At Carnegie Hall Via Berlin

WQXR radio

From a week-long residency, hear the Berlin Philharmonic in Beethoven's Sixth and Eighth.

Beethoven Symphonies At Carnegie Hall Via Berlin
Audio is no longer available

Conductor Andris Nelsons led the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus Thursday in Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky at Carnegie Hall in New York. AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm for NPR

Classics in Concert

A Tale Of Two Sergeys: Boston Symphony Orchestra At Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Andris Nelsons conducts Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances.

A Tale Of Two Sergeys: Boston Symphony Orchestra At Carnegie Hall
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/451116807/451174052" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Alan Gilbert leads the New York Philharmonic, with pianist Evgeny Kissin, at Carnegie Hall's gala opening concert, Oct. 7. AJ Wilhelm /for NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm /for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

The New York Philharmonic At Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Pianist Evgeny Kissin brings Tchaikovsky, and a sense of history, to Carnegie's opening concert.

The New York Philharmonic At Carnegie Hall
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/442287960/446705652" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top