In "Concerto per Corde," composer Christopher Rouse limited the orchestra to strings alone, distilling his musical intensity in the sonorities of violins and their larger relatives.
Rouse without percussion, it was a foreign concept to festival-goers! But it displayed the versatility of this festival-favorite composer and the precision of the orchestra’s strings.
Any damage that may have been done to the phrase "modern music" by composers who write music that is both difficult to perform and to listen is being quickly repaired by Christopher Rouse. It's been a long time since I've heard such a beautiful string piece as the Concerto Per Corde written by a modern composer. The players do nothing but play their instruments very beautifully using only conventional means. There are no extended techniques or gimmicks - there is only beautiful playing and writing.
In 1990: Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland died; the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into orbit.