CONCERT, CD AND RECORD REVIEWS

Quintet for Winds:

“…concise and reaches effective progressions and a variety of textures in its one-movement variation form.”
—AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE (Review of The American Music Project LP, Clarion Wind Quintet)

Concordia:

“…[a piece] of imagination, craft and beauty”
—THE WASHINGTON POST

Four Haiku (arrangement for double bass and vibraphone):

“…pieces that deserve another hearing”
—THE MIAMI HERALD

November Field:

“…a work of great expressiveness and unusual beauty”
—BASS WORLD, JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF BASSISTS

Concerto for Double Bass:

“…attractive, accessible and well–crafted.
The instrumentation throughout the piece is masterly….The colors are striking both in variety and beauty.”
—BASS WORLD, JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF BASSISTS

A Sound Within:

“…outstanding new music…a brilliantly colored midsummer night’s dream for solo piano—enchanting, sometimes feverish, always intricately detailed.”
—THE WASHINGTON POST

Calling:

“…a keen sense of organization”
—THE WASHINGTON POST

Faces:

“…excelled in juxtaposing live and recorded effects.”
—THE WASHINGTON POST

 

San Francisco Classical Voice 
Contemporary Music Review

Controlled Extroversion

November 8, 2005
(Review Excerpt)

By Jules Langert

Strata, the brilliant instrumental trio of violin, clarinet, and piano which has made several appearances with Composers, Inc. over the years, was in the Green Room again on Tuesday, this time with a full recital of magnificently played music, some of it composed expressly for this ensemble. Though the program may have contained an overabundance of extroverted, flamboyant music, it hardly seemed to bother Composers Inc.’s audience, who leapt to their feet at the end of the concert in an exuberant standing ovation.

One of the musical highlights, Maryland composer Robert Gibson’s Twelve Poems, was an evocative set of short character pieces, by turns moody, colorful, and dynamic, as performed by its dedicatees, violinist James Stern and pianist Audrey Andrist. In each piece Gibson was able to translate a descriptive title into an appropriate sound image, from which the musical shape could evolve. In Wind Chimes it was sliding string harmonics against bell–tones for the piano that made the connection. Reflection was opaque and contemplative, in the form of a palindrome. Wavesemulated the patterns of growth and decay that we associate with sound waves, and Cloudburstcombined intricately chromatic runs for the violin with short, percussive tone clusters in the piano. With Hommage the music took a detour into a quasi–Debussyan soundscape. Quatrain and Octave, the last two pieces, used their respective intervals prominently, ending the work with a rush and a clarion flourish.

—from San Francisco Classical Voice (sfcv.org)

Music and Vision Homepage 
Influence CD Review

Varied Influence

September 16, 2006
(Review Excerpt)

Three Etudes:

For anyone who would like a brief (54 minutes) conducted tour of some of the most exciting, colourful and skilfully made contemporary American chamber music, this CD, produced through Indiana University, would make a superb addition to any collection. Its title arises from the varied influences that its featured composers have used in the making of their pieces, and two of them are première recordings.

The other premier is that of the well made Three Etudes for clarinet and piano by Robert Gibson. The influence here is technical brilliance as demonstrated in the impressive range of concert studies from Chopin to Ligeti. After a sinuous first and a peaceful folksy second, the third study is a jazzy tour de force for both instruments.

—Patric Stanford, Wakefiled, UK