You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Music

Music Review

A harmony of differences at Tanglewood festival

LENOX — The 2013 Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood started with a redolent retrospective: Elliott Carter’s First String Quartet, written in 1951, an early exemplar of the style of contemporary music that the festival has annually surveyed. The performance by members of the New Fromm Players was bracing, with a superb sense of the structure’s large-scale respirations. The music’s brawny grandeur, though, grows out of sharply delineated disunities among the instruments. It was an aspirational prelude to a festival organized around disparate, precise idiosyncrasies.

This year’s festival, directed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard, features only eight composers, an unusually limited roster. (In more ways than one: the composers are exclusively white males.) Carter is a focus, along with Marco Stroppa and Helmut Lachenmann, European-born modernists who nevertheless cultivate individual accents. All three featured in Thursday’s main concert, which was suffused with theatricality.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week