Meticulously designed, intense, and streetwise, David Chesky’s music proposes a variation on an old musical gambit. Classical composers have long drawn from their national folk music for their work. Chesky’s source for The Abreu Danzas is the sound and energy of New York City or, to be precise, a Latin New York City.
From it, Chesky constructs cathedrals of sound and movement. He sets up layers of brass, woodwinds, and strings playing lines, rhythms, and counter lines. It’s a vital busyness that suggests a walk in the neighborhood, music, and the sounds of life pouring out of open windows. The tempos, the muscular groupings, and the dynamics give the pieces an unapologetic, in-your-face attitude —the Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian rhythms give them an emotional underpinning.