CLOFO reviews John Harbison: Ulysses

Many of us remember a 1986 Nonesuch recording of an exciting orchestral piece by American composer John Harbison (b. 1938) called Ulysses Bow (later released on First Edition, but no longer available). However, upon reading the album notes, we discovered much to our chagrin that it was only the last half of a full-length ballet. With this enterprising release from BMOP/sound, we now have the complete score.

Media Date 
April 15, 2008
Media Source 
Classical Lost and Found
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Media Quote 

The music couldn't possibly have better advocates than BMOP and its conductor Gil Rose. The detail, emotional sweep and carefully judged dynamics that Maestro Rose brings to this score are exceptional.

Media Contact Name 
Bob McQuiston

George Rochberg: Black Sounds; Cantio Sacra; Phaedra

Black Sounds, written for a ballet depicting the act of murder, is an unrelentingly intense work that packs a good deal of violence into its 17 minutes. George Rochberg thought of the piece as an “homage” to Varèse, and indeed with its stark, near-atonal language, repetitive phrases, and broad, colorful percussion array, it sounds a good deal like the French/American composer’s music, including its scoring for wind ensemble.

Media Date 
January 30, 2003
Media Source 
ClassicsToday
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Media Quote 

BMOP delivers stirring and virtuosic performances under Gil Rose.

Media Contact Name 
Victor Carr Jr

BMOP's recording of Foss's Griffelkin receives perfect score

Artistic Quality: 10 Sound Quality: 10

Lukas Foss composed Griffelkin for the NBC television network, which broadcast the opera on November 6, 1955. Although Griffelkin is based on a children’s fable, Foss wanted it to appeal to listeners ages “8 to 80,” so he wrote in a very accessible though not simplistic musical style—and the story has enough of a mature subtext to interest adults as well as children (as all good “children’s” music must).

Media Date 
August 9, 2003
Media Source 
ClassicsToday
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Media Quote 

There's much to enjoy in this lively and engaging opera—no matter what your age.

Media Contact Name 
Victor Carr Jr.

Tod Machover: The Hyperstring Trilogy

Tod Machover’s Hyperstring Trilogy, on the Oxingale label and by some distance the most exhilarating disc release of these otherwise drab summer months, sets off memories of the not-too-distant past and stirs up all kinds of hopes for a not-too-hopeless future.

Media Date 
August 12, 2003
Media Source 
LA Weekly
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The technical mastery on this disc is breathtaking, and so is the music.

Media Contact Name 
Alan Rich

Tod Machover: The Hyperstring Trilogy

The music on this disc is so good, you’d be tempted to proclaim it one of the best new-music discs of the decade were the pieces not 10 or more years old.

The M.I.T-based Machover spent the late 80’s and early 90’s developing hybrid electronic instruments, though this disc shows his greatest talent is that of a composer. More than Pierre Boulez, Machover composes for electronically generated sound as if it were his first language.

Media Date 
August 12, 2003
Media Source 
The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Media Quote 

The music on this disc is so good, you'd be tempted to proclaim it one of the best new-music discs of the decade were the pieces not 10 or more years old.

Media Contact Name 
David Patrick Stearns

Lee Hyla: Trans

Lee Hyla writes in a tremendously compressed style in which shape and gesture stand in for conventional melody despite an often clear tonal orientation. Rhythm also plays an important role in activating his musical textures and maintaining linear transparency, and it’s clear from a cursory listen to any of these three works that Hyla writes with a great deal of talent and confidence.

Media Date 
March 8, 2004
Media Source 
ClassicsToday.com
Media 
Media Quote 

Hyla writes in a tremendously compressed style in which shape and gesture stand in for conventional melody despite an often clear tonal orientation.

Media Contact Name 
David Hurwitz

Reza Vali: Flute Concerto; Deylaman; Folk Songs (Set No. 10)

Reza Vali, who was born in Iran, will probably be a new name to most readers. Vali is now based in the USA and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and commissions.

Media Date 
March 30, 2004
Media Source 
Classical Music Web
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Media Quote 

I cannot give too much commendation to the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Gil Rose for their exceptional endeavors.

Media Contact Name 
Michael Cookson

Bernard Rands: Canti Trilogy

About a year ago, Arsis put a big advertising push behind a CD called Songs of Love that featured the music of Bernard Rands (b. 1934) and that of his wife, Augusta Read Thomas. I kind of blew hot and cold over that disc, but not this time. This is the real deal, a three-part work made up of what amounts to three independent song cycles, one for each of the vocalists, accompanied by either orchestra or, as here, a large chamber ensemble that is one of the most striking works I can recall hearing and one that only grows in my estimation each time I listen to it.

Media Date 
May 2, 2005
Media Source 
Fanfare
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Media Quote 

Gil Rose and BMOP do the composer proud, realizing the vast range of expression inherent in the music.

Media Contact Name 
John Story

Stephen Paulus: The Five Senses, Windows of the Mind

Admit it: You giggled when someone who certainly was no James Earl Jones whined out Peter and the Wolf or Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait with your local community orchestra. Even worse was the suffering through the uppity soprano who mangled Pierrot Lunaire while you were in music school. And don’t even get me started on the past-Weillian spoken chorus work in Blitzstein’s Regina.

Media Date 
November 7, 2005
Media Source 
Sequenza 21
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Media Quote 

What I emerged with was an enjoyably light, if not ephemeral, experience with a piece that is most certainly a crowd pleaser when performed live.

Performance of "Saints" so good it was sinful

The concert began with a composition set At Suma Beach, but a summa of a different kind highlighted this Pitt Music on the Edge event at Bellefield Hall in Oakland.

Guest composer Lee Hyla’s Lives of the Saints, a work for solo voice and chamber ensemble, not only took theology as its subject, but also amounted to a virtual musical treatise.

Media Date 
January 30, 2006
Media Source 
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Media Quote 

All the better that a group versed in the composer's output performed it: BMOP. Under conductor Gil Rose, Hyla's ambitious work regaled the listener.

Media Contact Name 
Andrew Druckenbrod

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