Andrew Norman, Video Games and the 21st-Century Orchestra at 'Play'

What is the worst thing that would happen if you publicly admitted to being in throbbing love with the oeuvre of Phil Collins or the decidedly non-artisanal bite of Evan Williams bourbon? The pasty guy at the record store counter may mutter, “Typical…”, but it would be freeing, right? Andrew Norman’s Play is no such “guilty” pleasure, but the score reads as though written by a composer unrestrained by any hint of self-consciousness. It is also one that is acutely aware that audiences trek in and shell out bills to see a show not to hear music, but to watch it performed.

Media Date 
January 19, 2015
Media Source 
WQXR
Media Location 
Boston, MA
Media 
Media Quote 

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, led by conductor Gil Rose, is as essential to the success of this album as the score itself and the ensemble’s aesthetic buy-in is palpable.

Media Contact Name 
Doyle Armbrust

American Record Guide reviews Scott Wheeler: Crazy Weather

Scott Wheeler (b. 1952) has been a continual "point of reference" for new music in Boston for decades, as composer, conductor, teacher. He has an enviable (and enviably diverse) set of teachers, including Lewis Spratlan, Arthur Berger, Olivier Messiaen, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Virgil Thomson! His own baseline aesthetic is what one might call neoclassical, but as the above list of mentors suggests, it is not some sort of throwback to the 1940s.

Media Date 
January 1, 2015
Media Source 
American Record Guide
Media Location 
Boston, MA
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Media Quote 

As usual, the BMOP performances by Rose and his band are exceptional.

Media Contact Name 
Robert Carl

AMN Reviews: Milton Babbitt/Boston Modern Orchestra Project – All Set

Although most readily associated with the mid-20th century ascendancy of serial composition in America, Milton Babbitt’s work remains exemplary of a kind of music that even into the 21st century remains challenging and ultimately rewarding to listen to.

Media Date 
January 12, 2015
Media Source 
Avant Music News
Media Location 
Boston, MA
Media 
Media Quote 

Beautifully performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Media Contact Name 
Daniel Barbiero

The Boston Globe reviews Lou Harrison: La Koro Sutro

One of BMOP’s most memorable concerts of the last several years took place in 2009, a Jordan Hall performance that culminated in George Antheil’s brutalist percussion symphony, the “Ballet Mécanique.” But Antheil’s paean to pounding — a prime specimen of Machine Age interwar modernism — was preceded by another percussion work that seemed to drift in from an altogether distant cultural universe, tranquil and sun-drenched: California of the early 1970s.

Media Date 
September 13, 2014
Media Source 
The Boston Globe
Media Location 
Boston, MA
Media 
Media Quote 

The instruments sound glorious in their resonant plinking, polychrome rumbles, and deeply intoned vibrations, which call to mind the voicing of some cosmic background hum.

Media Contact Name 
Jeremy Eichler
Media Contact Title 
Globe Staff

Classical Playlist: Carl Nielsen, Lou Harrison, Bach and More

The American maverick composer Lou Harrison (1917-2003), like his colleague John Cage, was a pioneering explorer of Asian music. He was also an innovative builder of instruments. He and his lifelong partner, Bill Colvig, built sets of tuned percussion instruments that they called the American gamelan. This rewarding new recording offers a captivating performance of a Harrison masterpiece for this instrument, the Suite for Violin with American Gamelan, with the fine violinist Gabriela Diaz as soloist.

Media Date 
November 5, 2014
Media Source 
The New York Times
Media Location 
Boston, MA
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Media Quote 

This rewarding new recording offers a captivating performance of a Harrison masterpiece

Media Contact Name 
Anthony Tommasini

Musical America reviews Scott Wheeler: Crazy Weather

As evidenced by Heavy Weather [sic], Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s latest recording of music by Scott Wheeler, the composer really knows his way around percussive sounds. Even on pieces for strings like the title track, there is the ‘thwack’ of pizzicatos and bow slaps to help propel the proceedings. Pacing is another strong suit of Wheeler’s. The shadowy passages of City of Shadows are balanced by flurried gestures that enliven the music and help to articulate the work’s overall architecture.

Media Date 
November 23, 2014
Media Source 
Musical America
Media 
Media Quote 

The shadowy passages of City of Shadows are balanced by flurried gestures that enliven the music and help to articulate the work’s overall architecture.

Second Inversion names Lou Harrison: La Koro Sutro Album of the Week

“Old Granddad” sounds like something you might ask a bartender to mix up, but it’s actually what you get when you manipulate scrap metal, trash cans, and oxygen tanks into a percussion instrument played with baseball bats. Given its resemblance to a gamelan it is often also referred to as an “American Gamelan,” but I think we can all agree that “Old Granddad” is a much cooler name. It was built by Lou Harrison and his partner William Colvig and is heard throughout Harrison’s Suite for Violin with American Gamelan and La Koro Sutro.

Media Date 
October 27, 2014
Media Source 
Second Inversion
Media Location 
Seattle, WA
Media 
Media Quote 

La Koro Sutro is a rewarding album for patient listeners and makes me want to bring 1995 back so I can just lay on my floor and listen to it all day.

Media Contact Name 
Rachele Hales

Fanfare Magazine reviews Milton Babbitt: All Set

Milton Babbitt (1916-2011) is the composer that many love to hate. He of course has his committed defenders, but they are a distinct minority. My opening statement is of course harsh, and indeed anyone who actually met the man was impressed by his great geniality, erudition, and wacky humor. He was the classic eccentric professor, and in many ways a true genius. Babbitt did have a vision of music that was both rooted in the circumstances of his era and deeply personal.

Media Date 
September 1, 2014
Media Source 
Fanfare Magazine
Media 
Media Quote 

BMOP gives us a broad portrait of the composer, in works from 1948-2002, and the pros and cons of Babbitt's art are gloriously evident therein.

Media Contact Name 
Robert Carl

American Record Guide reviews Anthony Davis: Notes from the Underground

MacArthur Fellow Anthony Davis (b. 1951) is probably best known for his explosive political operas (X: The Life and Times of Malcom X is the most notorious). His music has as its formative influences 60s avant-grade jazz figures like Charlie Haden (his Liberation Orchestra with Carla Bley) and Sun Ra, updated with more contemporary characteristics like minimalist repetition and non-Western ethnic techniques.

Media Date 
September 1, 2014
Media Source 
American Record Guide
Media 
Media Quote 

The result is hypnotic and somewhat ear-bending.

American Record Guide reviews Lewis Spratlan: Apollo and Daphne Variations

Deeply drawn to the theater and to the theatrical, Lewis Spratlan (born 1940) is best known for his opera Life Is a Dream (it won the 2000 Pulitzer) and has written several other major works for stage production, though his interest in musical drama also extends to his purely instrumental compositions. My favorite of these is his clever, entertaining, sometimes hilarious 1986 sextet When Crows Gather, recorded, with three other very enjoyable (and also extravagantly uninhibited showpieces) on Albany 725 (July/Aug 2005).

Media Date 
September 1, 2014
Media Source 
American Record Guide
Media 
Media Quote 

Spratlan enlarges its scope and contributes some touching moments.

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