The latest volume of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project finds Gil Rose directing the orchestra for a selection of interesting and contrasting works by Steven Mackey (b 1956). It is entitled Time Release (BMOP 1068) after the 2005 work that is a centerpiece of the program.

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Full review

It's sometimes easy to forget that opera has a playful side, given its preponderance for serious and downright dark subject matter. Indulging that lighter side comes in handy for introducing young people to it in a manner that is both accessible and, dare I say, "fun" (in other words, maybe not Wagner or Britten). Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl story, is a worthy candidate for such an endeavor.

Fanfare Magazine Full review

The apartment building in which the composer Lei Liang grew up, in Beijing in the 1970s, was a musicological beehive. Its residents worked at the Music Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Arts, which had an archive of rare historical recordings that had been saved, often at great personal cost, from destruction in the Cultural Revolution.

The New York Times Full review

It’s taken Tobias Picker’s second opera more than twenty years to make it to CD, but here it is at last in all its charm and considerable glory. Over the years, Fantastic Mr. Fox has expanded and contracted according to resources available; the original LA Opera staging with Gerald Finley (sporting the title character's  whiskers) was sizable, but a seven-instrument reduction has been a hit at London's Opera Holland Park.

Opera News Full review

The title of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s Saturday concert at Jordan Hall, “Klezmer Madness,” accurately represented half of its program. That portion consisted of two recent concertos for clarinet and orchestra that were audibly steeped in klezmer, the folk music of Eastern European Jews. Both pieces also featured the outstanding klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, an ideal guide to the contemporary state of klezmer, who brought their solo parts thrillingly to life in performance.

The Boston Globe Full review

BOSTON MODERN ORCHESTRA PROJECT: ‘KLEZMER MADNESS’ Klezmer clarinet maven David Krakauer is the special guest for a characteristically adventurous BMOP program that includes Mathew Rosenblum’s clarinet concerto entitled “Lament/Witches’ Sabbath” as well as Wlad Marhulets’s Concerto for Klezmer Clarinet under the direction of conductor Gil Rose.

The Boston Globe Full review

Not for the casual listener, but those with a taste for the adventurous might give this unusual disc a try. BMOP is recognised as the USA’s foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music. Black Noise is performed by the enterprising musicians of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and led by conductor Gil Rose.

Classical CD Choice Full review

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.

Classical CD Choice Full review

This is an accomplished disc, essential for admirers of the talented American composer William Schuman. His ballet suites Judith and Night Journey have been recorded before but never in the kind of wide-ranging surround sound that they are accorded here. As a further incentive to purchase, the disc also contains what is (as far as I can tell) the first recording of another Schuman ballet for Martha Graham, the knottier The Witch of Endor.

Classical CD Choice Full review

Opera has done much during the past few decades to shed its elite, high-art credentials. In many ways, children's opera ticks all the right boxes in terms of accessibility, communication and participation, yet it's a genre that remains somewhat neglected. The American composer Tobias Picker's adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel Fantastic Mr Fox could change all that.

Gramophone Full review

Elsewhere in this iuue I reviewed David Stanhope's opera of Dracula. lamentlng in essence that it was bland, given its subject matter. I also think it has somethlng to do with being able to compose an opera. Tobias Picker knows how to compose an opera and has written a number of excellent works for the stage. Fantastic Mr. Fox (adapted from the Rolad Dahl stories) is delightful from beginning to end. The music is hummable, expertly crafted, and a joy to listen to. There are arias, duets, trios, and even more complicated ensembles.

American Record Guide Full review

Tobias Picker's operas have had a varied reception in major venues, with Emmeline (Santa Fe, 1996) and An American Tragedy (Met, 2005) having more initial success than Therese Raquin (Dallas, 2001) and Dolores Claiborne (San Francisco, 2013). Fantastic Mr. Fox was premiered by Los Angeles Opera in 1998, with a cast including Gerald Finley, Jill Grove and Charles Castronovo.

Opera Magazine Full review

How wonderful it is that the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and conductor Gil Rose recently honoured Michael Colgrass (1932-2019) by dedicating a full album to works by the American-born, Toronto-based composer, who passed away on July 2nd at the age of eighty-seven. Not only does the recording showcase the exemplary playing of the ensemble, it provides an excellent sampling of Colgrass's maverick sensibility.

Full review

Lei Liang (b1972) was born in China then in the grip of the Cultural Revolution, but left to study in the US and has remained there ever since, taking citizenship in 2006. The alto saxophone concerto Xiaoxiang was composed shortly
afterwards (2009, though based on an earlier piece for saxophone and electronics); it is given here in its 2014 revision. A concentrated (ten-and-a half minute) concerto-cum-tone poem, its single span was derived from an

Gramophone Full review

Lei LIang (b. 1972) seeks to "create music as if painted with a sonic brush." Painting seems to be among Mr. Liang's dominant interests. These works consist of abstract strokes of shape and color, inspired by his Chinese heritage. Growing up as his musicologist mother was shipped out as a farmer in the midst of the Cultural Revolution, he eventually settled in America, where he became involved with Chou-Wen Chung. He later earned his PhD at Harvard and now teaches at University of California-San Diego (a hotbed of America avant-gardeism.)

American Record Guide Full review

Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox is the official title of a new compact disc release of the opera by Picker, the current Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera, who pulls off the almost impossible feat of composing an opera that is aimed directly at families, not just children; that is, children of all ages. With his welcome use of melodic tonal lyricism, even though a modern piece, and the caustically witty Libretto by Donald Sturrock, this work is sure to charm listeners of any vintage.

South Shore Critic Full review

Charles Ives you can look to as the father of disparate conjoinings and aural collages when Modern North American composition styles developed and flourished in the last century through to today. Others have followed of course, people like Henry Brandt and, lest we forget, Michael Colgrass. The estimable Boston Modern Orchestra Project gives us the music of the latter with the three-work offering Side By Side (BMOP/Sound 1064). On these works one can note the back and forth one gets from the concerto in Western Classical.

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Full review

Afro-American composer David Sanford shows a musical Modernism with a healthy admixture of "Jazz" influences on his recent recording of orchestra works Black Noise (BMOP Sound 1063). The three works so nicely captured by Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, along with the cello solo vibrancy of Matt Haimovitz for the "Scherzo Grosso" work.

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Full review

In relation to music, noise occupies a particularly complex position in the history of African American musical cultures. Historically, white listeners musically and culturally disenfranchised enslaved African Americans by characterizing their drumming and spirituals as noise out of fear
of violent revolt. The descendants of these same listening practices have labelled certain jazz idioms, rap, hip-hop, and their stylistic progeny as forbidden and dangerous, but these characterizations neglect the validity and reality of African American experiences expressed in

I Care If You Listen Full review

Three pieces choreographed by Martha Graham. These are all ancient tales set in Schuman's advanced Americana style with tall chord harmony and Schoenberg-inspired lines.

American Record Guide Full review

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