Spinning Local: A batch of new CDs from BMOP
Meanwhile the city’s other homegrown label, BMOP/sound, continues to impress. This scrappy in-house operation run by conductor Gil Rose and his Boston Modern Orchestra Project was launched early last year, and it has released a steady stream of impeccably produced, beautifully packaged discs with exacting and engaged performances of 20th- and 21st-century music. Several elegantly probing pieces by Brandeis-based composer David Rakowski were recently featured on a BMOP/sound disc called Winged Contraption, including his Piano Concerto in a strong performance by Marilyn Nonken.
But the label is also looking far beyond the Boston scene to highlight music by eminent European composers heard all too rarely in these parts. Just last month, it brought out La Passione, a disc devoted to the vital, propulsive music of the Dutch maverick Louis Andriessen. The two key pieces here - the title work and Passeggiata in Tram in America e Ritorno - are both knockout settings of Dino Campana’s darkly surrealist poetry, both of them composed for the pure-voiced and wonderfully expressive mezzo-soprano Cristina Zavalloni and the fine violinist Monica Germino. New music fans will also want to know about a BMOP/sound release called Voices, given over to the highly eclectic music of the clarinetist and composer Derek Bermel, who draws here on the traditional musical cultures of both Ghana and Bulgaria, and is also fired by a deep love of jazz. It’s those jazz interests that infuse his colorful and high-spirited clarinet concerto Voices, in which he personally takes up the solo line with skill and charisma.