The San Francisco Chronicle reviews Lisa Bielawa: In Media Res
The wealth of beautiful and inventive music on this double CD is the outgrowth of a three-year residency by composer Lisa Bielawa with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. It’s a wonderful document, not only for the works included, but for the portrait it offers of a rewarding artistic collaboration. Bielawa, a Bay Area native who cut her musical teeth with the San Francisco Girls Chorus, writes with a superb combination of rhythmic exuberance, melodic grace and textural inventiveness—the two-flute opening of Roam, the first orchestral work in the set, is unlike anything you’ve heard before. The generosity of the Double Violin Concerto, a virtuoso display piece for Carla Kihlstedt (who sings and plays simultaneously) and Colin Jacobsen, is matched by the stark allure of unfinish’d, sent, a vocal solo for Bielawa. The large concerto for orchestra, In medias res, gets a crackerjack performance under conductor Gil Rose. But wait, there’s more—the second disc includes 15 magnificent solo vignettes for individual orchestra members, touching little pen-and-ink portraits in sound.
IN MEDIAS RES
BOSTON MODERN ORCHESTRA PROJECT
$35.99 (two CDs)