Another BMOP SACD offers unusual works by virtually unknown composer, Chen Yi. Born in 1953, she was a violinist and focused on composing music for string instruments. She met conductor Gil Rose when they were members of the Board of Advisors of the American Music Center. Rose, intrigued by Yi's music, suggested they make these recordings. The major work is Yi's Violin Concerto No. 2 called Springtime in Dresden, written in 2005 for Mira Wang, soloist on this recording.
Leon Kirchner (1919 - 2009) was totally American, a major figure for a half century. He was a respected teacher and won a number of awards for his music. A prolific composer, Kirchner wrote primarily chamber music, much of which has been recorded. His orchestral works will be new to most listeners, although they have been championed by major conductors.
The deep, milky gongs of Lou Harrison’s American gamelan slowly chime as a violin soars among and above in tender elegy, singing just for you. Then light, lucid bell-like sounds enter, making this musical sky more and more densely starry, in an expansive yet deeply intimate meeting of cultural traditions that I find more moving by the day.
This album was my introduction to the music of Peter Child. Like Lindberg’s works, Child’s music is multi-faceted and adaptable to whatever idea is at hand. The wild and exuberant Jubal is essentially a symphony-concerto for orchestra,
compressed into one 15-minute movement.
This album was my introduction to the music of Peter Child. Like Lindberg’s works, Child’s music is multi-faceted and adaptable to whatever idea is at hand. The wild and exuberant Jubal is essentially a symphony-concerto for orchestra, compressed into one 15-minute movement. Adirondack Voices consists of settings of folk songs that were brought to America from UK and spread through Adirondack logging communities. These aren’t simply transcriptions: the textual content of each song informsthe musical content.
Jeremy Gill’s music has a stylistic complexity and dramatic richness that rewards attentive listening. Jeremy Gill: Before the Wresting Tides, a trio of works by Gill for solo instrument and orchestra, performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Gil Rose, displays an especially broad range of mood and energy.
The next time you see a magpie in the sky, I hope you'll remember Four Saints in Three Acts.
That there are a prologue and four acts, and 18 saints — maybe 19, depending on how you count — needn't detain us.
What we have here is a collaboration between an aesthete Southern Baptist out of Kansas City and an American writer living in Paris whose works people talked about and no one understood.
In 2016, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, conducted by Gil Rose, performed Four Saints in Three Acts, producing a terrific recording. The text and music are addictive, as I'm sure Thomson intended them to be. (Find the recording on Amazon and ArkivMusic.)
The three works by Peter Child on this new release demonstrate the MIT composer’s remarkable stylistic diversity. Billed as a concert overture, “Jubal” packs the material of a four-movement symphony into a 15-minute span, filled with whirlwind motivic development, dense harmonies, and orchestra writing of Mahlerian exuberance.
David Del Tredici's name is closely associated with Lewis Carroll’s. Del Tredici’s nine major Alice in Wonderland works, written between 1968 and 1996, were paradoxically daring for their use of tonality during an era of serialist snobbery. After studies at Princeton in twelve-tone composition, Del Tredici slowly moved toward his trademark neo-Romantic style, which he felt was better suited to the Victorian nonsense texts of his favorite author. Child Alice, a 1980 Pulitzer winner, marks the apotheosis of this development.
Composers who were born in China, studied music both in their homeland and in the U.S., and remained here to build their careers have become a distinct current within the chaotic ocean of 20th- and 21st-century American music.
Composers who were born in China, studied music both in their homeland and in the U.S., and remained here to build their careers have become a distinct current within the chaotic ocean of 20th- and 21st-century American music. Now spanning three generations, these composers write music too diverse to be regarded as a cohesive stylistic school: Some mix Chinese and Western instruments, others write exclusively for Western ensembles; some draw on Chinese folk themes, others favor a bracing post-tonal acidity, and still more are neo-Romantics.
Paul Moravec’s ambitious The Blizzard Voices chronicles a snowstorm that suddenly struck across the upper Midwest in 1888 and killed hundreds, including a large number of children returning home from school. It is a secular oratorio, the third of the composer’s ‘American Historical’ series of large-scale choral works, and brings an impressive battery of musical resources to the task.
Alice isn’t the only one who finds herself immersed in enchanting and wild escapades in David Del Tredici’s Child Alice. So do a soprano and especially an orchestra, who engage in glittering, bizarre and clamorous episodes that might prompt Mahler and Strauss to sit up and take notice. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s superlative recording of this massive work – six movements and more than two hours of music – certifies the piece’s status as sonic wonderland.
Continuing its impressive scheduled releases of new music as well as of overlooked twentieth century works, Gil Rose's Boston Modern Orchestra Project has recently completed two new recordings, David Rakowski's Stolen Moments and Piano Concerto No.2 and Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts and Capital Capitals. Under its eight-year-old “BMOP/sound” independent record label, these two CDs are more evidence of the significant role of Rose in providing access to important contemporary compositions
Play, a 47-minute orchestral work by American composer Andrew Norman, is the winner of the prestigious 2017 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.
In three movements, Play explores the relationship of choice and chance, free will and control. It investigates the ways musicians in an orchestra can play with, against, or apart from one another; and maps concepts from the world of video gaming onto traditional symphonic structures to tell a fractured narrative of power, manipulation, deceit and, ultimately, cooperation.
The adventurous orchestral work Play by 37-year-old American composer Andrew Norman has earned the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, according to the University of Louisville, which distributes the $100,000 prize each year.
Norman is the second youngest recipient of the internationally recognized prize after British composer Thomas Ades, who won in 2000 and was born in 1971.
A rambunctious 45-minute orchestral piece called Play, by American composer Andrew Norman, has been named the winner of the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. The prize, which includes $100,000, was announced this evening by the University of Louisville, which sponsors the award. Former winners include Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho and Thomas Adès.
With a 50th recording now released on its own label, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project is as committed as ever to championing contemporary American composers, writes David Weininger.
With a thoughtful and absorbing tribute bringing four works by “American Masters,” the Boston Modern Orchestra Project opened its season at Jordan Hall on Saturday night. Founder and director Gil Rose celebrates the 20th year of this very active orchestra this year. The concert especially excited me for two reasons: seldom-heard orchestral works by four Americans, and a gesture in memory of Steven Stucky, who died unexpectedly earlier this year. Robert Kirzinger of the BSO gave an able and helpful talk about the music before the concert began.