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
Q2

More From Classical

Penguin Cafe performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 2, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Penguin Cafe

Penguin Cafe folds in sounds from around the world and throughout music history — Africa, Kraftwerk, Brazil and Franz Schubert.

Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir revised her piece Aura especially for The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. David Holechek hide caption

toggle caption David Holechek

All Songs TV

Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Volcanic Transmissions

As members of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet bow their vibraphones, brush their gongs and message their bass drums, the composer's evocative music oozes from blackness.

Ludovico Einaudi, performing live for KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Ludovico Einaudi, 'Petricor' (Live)

KCRW

Watch the pianist and composer, joined by a full band, in a stunning live performance for KCRW.

Opera singer Joyce DiDonato created this video to go with her new album, In War and Peace: Harmony through Music. Warner Classics hide caption

toggle caption Warner Classics

Music

In Chaotic Times, A Singer's Plea For Freedom

Opera star Joyce DiDonato does more than sing — she lends her voice to social causes. Watch her new video, a haunting depiction of a woman trapped in conflict.

Gustavo Dudamel led the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra to open the new season of concerts at Carnegie Hall Thursday, Oct. 6. Chris Lee/Carnegie Hall hide caption

toggle caption Chris Lee/Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall Live

Gustavo Dudamel Opens Carnegie Hall Season With 'The Rite Of Spring'

WQXR radio

The charismatic conductor first heard Stravinsky's rambunctious music when he was just 8. Watch him lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela live on Thursday night.

A still from Maya Beiser's "Air" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Maya Beiser, 'Air'

In a new video, the cellist plays with time and memory, turning back the clock to when she first heard J.S. Bach's music on a scratchy old LP. It remains, she says, a timeless lodestar for her art.

Yuja Wang played a demanding program at Carnegie Hall, topped by four encores. Ebru Yildiz/for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ebru Yildiz/for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Hear one of today's most charismatic pianists perform music with deep psychological — and physical — dimensions by Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms.

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

Audio is no longer available

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

Dmitri Shostakovich's powerful Seventh Symphony was written during the devastating World War II siege of Leningrad. Hear Mariss Jansons lead the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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">
Back To Top