Classical Voice of New England reviews Louis Adriessen: La Passione

This new recording from Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project of music by Louis Andriessen carries a catalogue of disappointing turns and insipid organizational processes of otherwise promising musical events. The players themselves certainly deserve no rebuke. It is a sound, engaging, and artful execution that because of the clarity and precision of an accomplished performance, cannot help exposing some of the shortcomings in the writing itself.

Media Date 
August 1, 2009
Media Source 
Classical Voice of New England
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Media Quote 

Artful execution...an accomplished performance.

Media Contact Name 
Thomas Healy

ClassicalCDReview Reviews John Harbison: Full Moon in March

Tour de force. I’ve been wading through a lot of contemporary dramatic music these days, mostly from a sense of duty—a very bad reason for learning—from Robert Grey’s “Navajo oratorio” Enemy Slayer to Daron Hagen’s Shining Brow, an opera on Frank Lloyd Wright’s marital irregularities and the awful horrifying destruction of the first Taliesin. I don’t consider either of these examples obviously terrible, but I would feel better for the current state of contemporary music if they were. Both show great craft and at least some talent.

Media Date 
October 1, 2010
Media Source 
ClassicalCDReview
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This definitely belongs in the winners' circle.

Media Contact Name 
S.G.S.

American Record Guide reviews John Harbison: Full Moon in March

Full Moon in March (1977) is John Harbison’s adaptation of a nasty Yeats “chamber play” dealing with the beheading of a filthy Swineherd (James Maddalena) who dares to court a bitchy virgin Queen (Lorraine DiSimone). His head winds up impaled on a stake, and the Queen does a hysterical dance (soprano DiSimone is replaced by a dancer). The piece is a small-scale but demonstrative Salome substitute set in Harbison’s pungent 70s Princetonian-Stravinskian style, his scoring embroidered with colorful prepared piano sonorities in the small accompanying ensemble.

Media Date 
September 1, 2009
Media Source 
American Record Guide
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Harbison's orchestration is beautiful and elegantly understated.

Media Contact Name 
Allen Gimbel

AllMusic reviews John Harbison: Full Moon in March

John Harbison’s music is almost always engaging on an intellectual level—imaginative, ingeniously inventive, and distinctively orchestrated—but in spite of its essentially lyrical impulse, it can have a cold brilliance that doesn’t leap out to touch the emotions. The three works recorded here, written in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, appeal as much to the senses as to the intellect, making this one of the most attractive releases of the composer’s music.

Media Date 
July 1, 2009
Media Source 
AllMusic
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The sound is beautifully detailed, realistic, and immediate.

Media Contact Name 
Stephen Eddins

Fanfare reviews David Rakowski: Winged Contraption

In her program notes pianist Marilyn Nonken observes that David Rakowski “asks us, as only a serious composer can, to come and play.” That instinctive urge, be it expressed in science, mathematics, or art, is often thought to underlie our species’ creativity. In music, a composer can transform whimsical, transitory, impulsive, or improvisatory materials into a “serious” work, or he can choose to inject humor via parody, quotation, or even rude noises.

Media Date 
May 1, 2010
Media Source 
Fanfare
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This is an excellent disc that should be heard by fans of contemporary music and especially those with a yen to add an exiting new piano concerto to their collections.

Media Contact Name 
Robert Schulslaper

BMOP CD: Rakowski's serious fun

Composer David Rakowski’s jocularity is well known. His many piano etudes (88 at last count) feature a number of sly allusions to other styles and works, as well as more overt zaniness; one even requires the performer to play pitches with their nose! His previous concerti have featured various subterfuges in which the soloist is upstaged by the orchestra. And, famously, goofiness abounds on his website. But alongside Rakowski’s penchant for light-hearted expression are consummate craftsmanship and music of considerable poignancy.

Media Date 
October 2, 2009
Media Source 
Sequenza21
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Media Quote 

The disc is one of the orchestra's best thus far, and the weightiest and most satisfying in Rakowski's discography to date.

Media Contact Name 
Christian Carey

Gramophone reviews David Rakowski: Winged Contraption

There are marvelous ideas in David Rakowski’s music. At the very end of the slow movement of his Piano Concerto (2006), for instance, the soloist suddenly switches to a toy piano to play a flourish that’s at once otherworldly and mischievous. Similarly, the jazzy syncopations and riffs in the movement that follows convey simultaneous feelings of playful spontaneity and lurking menace.

Media Date 
October 1, 2009
Media Source 
Gramophone
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Media Quote 

Certainly, the performances here are top-notch.

Media Contact Name 
Andrew Farach-Colton

Vital Weekly reviews for BMOP/sound

It remains a mystery why certain labels send their CDs to us. Like for instance BMOP/sound. It is a difficult job to cover these two of their new releases. They fall beyond the scope we usually cover. So I will be very descriptive only on these two. But first the label itself. It is the outlet of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. They perceive it as their mission to record important classical compositions of the 20th and 21st century. These two releases may illustrate this.

Media Date 
July 1, 2009
Media Source 
Vital Weekly
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No doubt BMOP has a good nose for what are influential and innovative compositions in our times.

Audiophile Audition reviews Derek Bermel: Voices

Clarinetist and composer Derek Bermel has donned the motley hat of eclecticism early in his career. For the most part, it’s a happy fit. His Voices CD showcases multiple styles and influences and succeeds in presenting him as an individualist composer.

Media Date 
May 21, 2010
Media Source 
Audiophile Audition
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BMOP expertly accompanies Bermel, producing a work of humor and considerable virtuosity.

Mercury News names Derek Bermel: Voices a top classical CD of 2009

My shot at the best classical recordings of 2009 turns out to be top-heavy with pianists and French composers. Funny how that happens: You begin a process with what seems like scrupulous fairness, sorting through hundreds of discs, aiming for balance, trying to demonstrate one’s wide-openness to the whole musical universe. But somehow, the results wind up reflecting personal preferences, anyway.

Media Date 
January 1, 2010
Media Source 
Mercury News
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Media Quote 

Gil Rose leads BMOP throughout this excellent disc, which tours a number of Bermel's most alluring compositions.

Media Contact Name 
Richard Scheinin

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