Classical CD Choice
Barry Forshaw
November 14, 2019

Large-scale works referencing the past are on offer here, music that will be unfamiliar to most listeners. Michael Colgrass: Side by Side features three of the composer’s works for large ensemble performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and led by conductor Gil Rose. An American-born Canadian living in Toronto, the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Emmy Award-winning Colgrass holds the unique distinction among prominent classical composers in North America of being the only one whose music is well known equally on both sides of the Canadian-American border. The album begins with the complex Letter from Mozart that takes listeners on a journey asking them to imagine a fictional letter from Mozart to the composer (“Michael”) imploring him to write a piece of music using one of Mozart’s themes as a point of departure.