Reviews for Bachtrack
The LSO give a moving première of Peter Maxwell Davies’ tenth symphony
(February 7, 2014)
The London Symphony Orchestra premières Peter Maxwell Davies' tenth symphony, and Maxim Vengerov plays Britten's Violin Concerto at the Barbican.
MacMillan’s Viola Concerto and Mahler 6 with Jurowski and the LPO
(January 17, 2014)
An astonishing performance of Mahler's Sixth Symphony followed the world première of James MacMillan's Viola Concerto, a haunting mixture of the old and the new. Soloist Lawrence Power joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski.
Nonclassical rocks the house at Scala
(November 19, 2013)
The centrepiece of Nonclassical’s “Pioneers of Percussion” festival was a rousing marathon of a concert at Scala, a large (mostly) rock venue near King’s Cross. It was a rich, varied, high-energy, happily chaotic affair that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.
Captivating new percussion works from Nonclassical at Oval Space
(November 12, 2013)
The second instalment of Nonclassical’s “Pioneers of Percussion” Festival last Saturday at Oval Space in east London paired two classics of the percussion repertoire with two new works, and featured the young and ambitious Multi-Story Orchestra. It is a great testament to the quality of these new works that they not only held their own, but were indeed the highlights of the evening.
Nonclassical begins the Pioneers of Percussion Festival in Hoxton
(November 11, 2013)
What is it about percussion concerts? They always seem to have a different feeling to other shows, a palpable sense of energy, curiosity and excitement. Whatever it is, it was certainly present at the Macbeth in Hoxton, where Nonclassical’s “Pioneers of Percussion Festival” kicked off on Wednesday night.
São Paulo Symphony and Marin Alsop dazzle at the Southbank Centre
(October 28, 2013)
On Friday, 25 October, the São Paulo Symphony presented an energetic and polished performance at the Southbank Centre. Part of the “The Rest is Noise Festival” focused on 20th century music, this programme took the turbulent 1960s as its theme. It brought together Leonard Bernstein’s ever-popular West Side Story: Symphonic Dances with Luciano Berio’s influential yet rarely-performed Sinfonia for Eight Solo Voices and Orchestra, and Brazilian composer Camargo Guarnieri’s 1963 Symphony no. 4 “Brasília”.
Nonsuch Singers evoke stars and light at St James’s Church, Piccadilly
(October 22, 2013)
On Saturday at St James’s Church, the Nonsuch Singers presented a captivating programme titled “To the Field of Stars”. It was a compelling mix of recent and old music, predominantly works by living composers and composers from the 16th century. It culminated in the première of Gabriel Jackson’s newly commissioned work To the Field of Stars.
Counterpoise offered a tasteful and well-crafted concert at Kings Place on Sunday of recent works accompanied by film and still photographs. The unusual instrumentation of the ensemble (violin, saxophone, trumpet, piano) was surprisingly effective. Works for smaller subsets of the ensemble gave individual performers a chance to shine as well.
St Paul’s Cathedral a moving location for Blitz Requiem première
(September 30, 2013)
On the night of 29 December, 1940, after a brief respite over Christmas, German bombers roared back over Britain. They dropped numerous incendiary bombs on the City of London, causing massive destruction, loss of life, and uncontrollable fires that raged for days. Miraculously, St Paul’s Cathedral survived the onslaught intact, even as much of the surrounding neighbourhood was reduced to rubble. Long a symbol of hope amidst the Blitz’s indiscriminate destruction, St Paul’s was a particularly moving setting for the première of the Blitz Requiem, a new work memorializing the Blitz and those whose lives were touched by it.
Reviews for San Francisco Classical Voice
Transported by Sounds
(February 3, 2009)
Tape music, and the technology behind it, has come a long way since composers first began using and manipulating recorded sounds in the 1940s. This year's annual San Francisco Tape Music Festival made clear just how far it has come, by juxtaposing classic tape pieces from 50 years ago with brand-new works. The festival ran for three nights, Friday through Sunday, at CELLspace in San Francisco. I was only able to attend the final concert, which provided an enjoyable, intriguingly wide spectrum of approaches to electronic composition, showing both the continued relevance and vitality of the early works and the dramatic strides that have been taken since.
The Sixties Are Alive with SFSound
(August 12, 2008)
At the ODC Dance Commons in San Francisco's Mission District, sfSoundSeries presented a Sunday concert centered on works composed for the San Francisco Tape Music Center. The concert featured works composed some four decades ago by four of the Center's most important figures: Morton Subotnick, Ramón Sender, Robert Moran, and Pauline Oliveros. Although some elements of these works came across as dated, on the whole they stood the test of time well, in many ways sounding as fresh and surprising as they must have when they were first performed.
Kicking It Around at the ROOM Series
(July 15, 2008)
Five of the Bay Area's many inventive musical experimentalists were on display last Friday at the Royce Gallery in San Francisco, in the initial installment of Pamela Z's summer chamber music series called "room." This first of four concerts, to be given every other Friday through July and August, was titled "Batterie!" and featured performers who all made use of percussion in some way.
Sound Garden with SFSound and John Butcher
(June 10, 2008)
On Sunday night, the ODC Dance Commons in San Francisco's Mission District was full of classical music's most coveted demographic — young people in their 20s and 30s. They had gathered to attend sfSoundSeries' latest installment of improvisation and new composition, including works by John Cage, Bruno Ruviaro, and Kaija Saariaho, with improvisations featuring guest saxophonist John Butcher.
Musical Fragrances in the Air
(May 6, 2008)
On Monday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players presented a polished, energetic performance of four colorful recent works by composers from the United States, Argentina, and France.
Wild Ride on Horn and Hide
(February 5, 2008)
Swedish trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger and British percussionist Colin Currie offered a virtuosic and highly polished performance last Tuesday at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. All the challenging compositions on the program, from a wide range of contemporary European composers, were technically proficient and effective, and made expert use of the colors that the trumpet offers, as well as a great variety of percussion sounds.
Rock and Dmitri, Transfigured
(January 29, 2008)
What do a Stalin-era Russian composer and a contemporary British rock band have in common? That was the intriguing question posed by Christopher O’Riley in a piano recital last Wednesday at Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Auditorium in Palo Alto. Part of the Stanford Lively Arts series, the program consisted solely of preludes and fugues from the Op. 87 cycle by Shostakovich, and O’Riley’s solo piano arrangements of songs by Radiohead. It was a fascinating and thought-provoking juxtaposition that ultimately highlighted the differences between these artists more than their similarities.
San Francisco, born of the optimism and high hopes of the Gold Rush, often seems a happy and prosperous place. But the city has suffering and sadness in its history as well, including the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, one still close to the hearts of the many who lost loved ones during those years. As a plea to all of us to remember AIDS and those it has touched, the Golden Gate Men's Chorus, under the direction of Joseph Jennings, performed James Adler's Memento Mori: An AIDS Requiem last Sunday and Tuesday at Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco.
A Rich Palette at Sarah Cahill’s piano recital
(February 21, 2006)
On Saturday night, at Trinity Chapel in Berkeley, Sarah Cahill, the Bay Area's queen of contemporary piano music, presented a rich and varied solo program featuring mostly recent works, as well as two rarely performed works of Leo Ornstein. Cahill played all with nuance and a strong sense of the style called for in each piece, from boogie-woogie to impressionism to minimalism.
More than Meets the Ear at San Francisco Tape Music Festival
(January 21, 2005)
It's not often that concerts make me realize something fundamentally new about the nature of music and sound or introduce me to a form of art that I didn't even know existed before. Yet this is what happened last Friday and Saturday at the mind- and ear-expanding San Francisco Tape Music Festival, presented by sfSound Series at the ODC theater in the Mission district.
Clarinet Related Articles
The Bass Clarinetist As Composer
(October 1, 2014)
The violin had its Paganini. The piano had its Liszt. Today, it’s the bass clarinet’s turn. Although there is no single towering figure like a Liszt or Paganini, there is an active, stylistically diverse, intensely creative community of bass clarinetist-composers working today to expand the capacities of the instrument. This article provides a brief lay of the land, introducing readers to a number of the people and trends that are shaping the future of bass clarinet technique and repertoire.
Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2014 issue of THE CLARINET
ABSTRACT: While many analysts have considered harmony in The Rite of Spring from a variety of angles, a convincing and comprehensive account of its harmonic practices has yet to emerge. This dissertation aims to fill this gap by presenting a full accounting of harmony in The Rite. The goal is both to be as comprehensive as possible and also to uncover useful lessons and tools for composers working today. While drawing on previous analytical approaches, the paper’s primary analytical method is rooted in recent applications of the geometric modeling of pitch space to harmonic analysis. By showing similar underlying voice-leading patterns and similar ways of moving through pitch space, this approach connects much twentieth century music to the common practice music preceding it. It provides a vocabulary for discussing music that does not follow the syntax of functional tonality, but that is nonetheless intuitively tonal, allowing us to consider the logic of harmonic and voice-leading patterns without being forced either to abandon the concept of tonality entirely, or to invoke tortured extensions of common practice functional progressions. The Rite that emerges from this analysis has a large, but contained and describable range of harmonic techniques. It has numerous structural connections and patterns, but no reducible system. And it has logical processes and systems that are warped and disguised by intuitive play. The idea of a “network” or “web” is an especially fruitful image. A given harmony in the work can be seen from several angles at once, and depending on which of its implications are followed, it can be connected to a wide range of other harmonies, creating a complex, interwoven web of associations. Chapter 1 reviews previous approaches to analyzing harmony in The Rite, and outlines the paper’s analytical method; Chapters 2 and 3 apply the analytical techniques from Chapter 1 in depth, with bar-by-bar analyses of Parts 1 and 2 of The Rite, respectively; Chapter 4 summarizes the main conclusions to be drawn from the analyses in Chapters 2 and 3; and Chapter 5 discusses implications for further analysis and composition.