La Folia reviews Ken Ueno: Talus

I listen to a lot of contemporary music and like to think I have it all figured out. And along comes Talus which greets us with a blood-curdling scream more appropriate to Hitchcock’s Psycho. Then follow Ueno’s overtone vocalizations akin to Tuvan throat singing. I admit it, I smiled. Three trips through this disc have dulled the surprises. Beyond the shock value and clever rhetorical gestures, the mild results don’t equal the multifaceted intents.

Media Date 
October 1, 2010
Media Source 
La Folia
Media 
Media Quote 

I admit it, I smiled.

Media Contact Name 
Grant Chu Covell

Fanfare reviews Elliott Schwartz: Chamber Concertos I-VI

Elliott Schwartz’s music uses collage to a great degree. Juxtaposition can be stark, including the use of tonal against the non-tonal. Quotations may be present. He also uses “frame notation” extensively, a technique possibly most famously used by Lutosławski.

Media Date 
March 1, 2010
Media Source 
Fanfare
Media 
Media Quote 

Gil Rose and BMOP play with an authority that seems directly analogous to that shown by groups such as the London Sinfonietta.

Media Contact Name 
Colin Clarke

Schwartz's eclectic concertos are ably and attractively presented by BMOP

This is a fine tribute from the highly acclaimed Boston Modern Orchestra Project to 30 years of Elliott Schwartz’s idiosyncratic output. Each of the six chamber concertos, four in first recordings, features a single soloist in a continuity ranging from monologue to free-ranging superimposed textures. Schwartz describes his technique as “different strategies for dealing with the ‘concerto’ principle—six variations, not on a theme, but on a genre.” An essential part of his idiom is quotation from older styles, actual or implied but often unobtrusive.

Media Date 
January 1, 2010
Media Source 
Gramophone
Media 
Media Quote 

This is a fine tribute from the highly acclaimed BMOP to 30 years of Elliott Schwartz’s idiosyncratic output.

Media Contact Name 
Peter Dickinson

CD of Elliott Schwartz concertos merits multiple listens

The long-awaited CD of all Maine composer Elliott Schwartz’s chamber concertos has finally been released by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP/sound, 1013) and it lives up to expectations. Conductor Gil Rose and his orchestra are among the foremost interpreters of modern music, and their performances of these six works, from 1976 to 2007, with the composer’s input, can be considered definitive.

Media Date 
October 18, 2009
Media Source 
Portland Press Herald
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Media Quote 

The long-awaited CD of all Maine composer Elliott Schwartz's chamber concertos has finally been released by BMOP and it lives up to expectations.

Media Contact Name 
Christopher Hyde

Retired music professor compiles concertos for CD release

After a 43 year stint at the College, former Robert K. Beckwith Professor of Music Eliott Schwartz has one more accomplishment to add to his list: the recent release of an album featuring six chamber concertos of his own composition.

The album is titled Elliot Schwartz: Chamber Concertos and will be released through the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) label this month.

Schwartz, an internationally regarded composer, retired from Bowdoin’s faculty in 2007, with 12 of his 43 years in the music department spent as department chair.

Media Date 
October 16, 2009
Media Source 
The Bowdoin Orient
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Media Quote 

Schwartz's work is unusual in the way in which he incorporates visual and theatrical elements into the traditional concerto listening experience.

Media Contact Name 
Hannah Hoyt

BMOP records Schwartz's six chamber concertos

These works were composed over a span of 30 years from 1976 to 2007; 3 of them (Nos. III, V, and VI) were revised (with one, No. III, now with the subtitle “Another View,” having been essentially completely reconstructed) for the performances and subsequent recording by BMOP over the past 2 years. The result is a set of very compelling eclectic pieces that make for enjoyable repeated listening.

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

BMOP/sound CDs do not come in "jewel cases," but rather in tri-fold heavy paper "wallets".... For my money, these are far preferable.... Very highly recommended.

Media Contact Name 
Marvin J. Ward

Records International review Elliott Schwartz: Chamber Concertos I-VI

These six little concerti are typical of Schwartz’s gleefully eclectic style, the presentation of the many facets of which is facilitated through his espousal of a deep- and wide-ranging use of ‘collage’ technique. What this means in practical terms is that the music presents a kaleidoscopically shifting assemblage of layers of material, which can range from literal quotations of classical or romantic models in their original tonal language to reminiscences of the styles of earlier music (of many kinds) to frankly atonal, abstract and complex gestures.

Media Date 
December 1, 2009
Media Source 
Records International
Media 
Media Quote 

The music presents a kaleidoscopically shifting assemblage of layers of material, which can range from literal quotations of classical or romantic models in their original tonal language to reminiscences of the styles of earlier music to frankly atonal, abstract and complex gestures.

Sequenza21 reviews John Cage: Sixteen Dances

Sixteen Dances comes at a transitional time in Cage’s career. Completed in the beginning of 1951, it intimates the importance of chance in his works from then onwards, but still retains a fascination for serial procedures and precompositional planning: a remnant of his 1940s studies of Webern. The overall plan of the piece involves a constantly morphing 8×8 array, albeit one which Cage deployed freely and in a wide variety of permutations.

Media Date 
February 21, 2010
Media Source 
Sequenza21
Media 
Media Quote 

Here is the place where Cage most thoroughly incorporated early bop's own experimentations with pulse, swing, and the freedom that would lie beyond.

Media Contact Name 
Christian Carey

Fanfare reviews John Cage: Sixteen Dances

John Cage composed these short dances in 1951, to accompany choreography by Merce Cunningham. In fact, according to Cunningham, much of the movement and rhythmic impetus came first, to which Cage coordinated musical phrases drawn from a chart of 64 different sonorities.

Media Date 
March 1, 2010
Media Source 
Fanfare
Media 
Media Quote 

The narrow melodic contours, crisply articulated events, and repeated motifs provide an attractively shifting soundscape that often makes me think of Stravinsky, of all people.

Media Contact Name 
Art Lange

American Record Guide reviews John Cage: Sixteen Dances

This work is from the 1950’s and relates to Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes in that it concerns the emotions of Indian aesthetics. It’s also his last work before he committed himself seriously to the composition of music using chance operations. But like the contemporaneous concerto for prepared piano, it was made by beginning with a chart with rows and columns containing cells of fixed sounds, which he assembled into continuity by making moves about the chart.

Media Date 
January 1, 2010
Media Source 
American Record Guide
Media 
Media Quote 

The performance by BMOP is superbly committed and the sound remarkably textured and nuanced.

Media Contact Name 
Rob Haskins

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