Seen / Soon: Feb. 2
Hearing a stately Passion from Arvo Pärt sung by Ensemble VIII and reading a Texas take on Moby Dick from Austin author Elizabeth Crook
Ensemble VIII got a jump on Easter with its program Passio, Arvo Pärt's 1982 take on the Passion of the Christ. In his familiar spare, stately music, the Estonian composer focused on the trial of Jesus before Pilate, with Enrico Lagasca's deep bass-baritone giving the Nazarene an otherworldly authority – a rock unmoved by the air blowing from the Roman governor of tenor Ryland Angel. A strong quartet sang the text of John's Gospel, while UT's Chamber Singers added drama as the crowd demanding Jesus' crucifixion.
The Which Way Tree is the latest from Austin author Elizabeth Crook, who manages in it the striking feat of not only capturing the voice of a 19th century youth as honestly and compellingly as Mark Twain did but also having her Texas Huck recount a Moby Dick-like pursuit across Texas in which the White Whale is a malevolent mountain lion and its Ahab is a girl it mauled while killing her mother. Crook kicks off the release of the novel Wed., Feb. 7, 7pm. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar. www.bookpeople.com.