The lively q&a during last Wednesday's "Celebration of Marin Alsop" at An die Musik included a few insights from the Maestra on modern American music. She mentioned the likes of Barber, Copland, and Bernstein as particular favorites. (If you share her love for Bernstein, you'll want to be a regular at the Meyerhoff next season.) And when asked to describe, broadly, the qualities inherent in such music, she cited... "optimism" "immediacy" "rhythmic drive" "happiness" "a sense of humor"... in no particular order. Seated to her left, composer (and Baltimore native) Christopher Rouse might have objected, but Alsop quickly noted that Rouse's music is often "brutal and despondent."
"My two moods," he quipped.
Alsop doesn't shy from this sort of emotional gravitas, and the smart money says we'll hear more Rouse at the Meyerhoff over the next few years.