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The Boston Globe


Music Review

Sound Icon’s ecstatic evening at the ICA

One of last year’s musical apexes was a performance of Georg Friedrich Haas’s monumental “in vain” by Sound Icon, the pioneering new-music sinfonietta. On Friday, the group returned to the ICA for a concert just scarcely less ambitious. It brought together two deft, and diametrically opposed, portraits of ecstasy by Italian composers, a program bristling with fragility, wonder, and danger by turns.

The concert, part of a Boston University residency by Salvatore Sciarrino, began with his “Infinito Nero” (“Infinite Black”), whose texts are based on the writings of the mystic Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi. Its first sounds are of the flutist breathing through piccolo, registering only a shade above silence. Gradually, a series of soft taps and thumps emerges. Sometimes the sound you could see being made was inaudible.

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