May 30, 2008

[5/5 stars]

This is a wonderful collection of pieces. Although all 3 pieces are unique, they compliment each other well musically and thematically. A set of music that provides a welcome hour of enjoyment. Overall the CD has a variety of styles that each work for the individual pieces.

The first piece, Point of Departure, is from 1988 and is modern music. A variety of styles and constructs that may not always be smooth to the ear, but, flow and support the themes. The collection of sounds and musical motives work well in support of the story. There is a consistent set of ideas that challenge and relate to the themes. Strong musical remarks and emphatic statements that deliver emotion and passion. The percussion is used with sharp emphasis and the woodwinds often are used as exclamations. The musical building blocks create tension when needed. Overall the piece has very clear orchestration.

The next piece, Themes from a Midsummer Night, as one might guess from the title, was originally for a Shakespeare production(in the Berkshires, Massachusetts). The music is accessible and tonal. It helps tell the story and is well suited for its purpose. The 10 sections are constantly moving and engaging, with a very subtle but poignant short section to finish. It is the most enjoyable piece on the CD and is one of Gandolfi’s best. The music is clean, clear and very understandable while being interesting and engaging.

Y2K Compliant is the final piece. This is another accessible piece reflecting Michael Gandolfi’s musical painting of the Y2K scare that occupied much of the media’s attention during the turn of the century. It fully conveys the concerns and emotions wrapped up in that issue during that period of time. It has a very strong sense of immediacy and of the impending. The music delivers on its subject themes very well.

Overall the CD is a pleasurable collection, well produced and packaged. The recording quality is very high and well balanced given the variety of sounds appearing on this recording. It contains very useful and insightful notes. The artwork is relevant and supportive of the themes. The art is also attractive, fresh and captivating. The accompanying text and presentation is clear and understandable. A complete and well developed package. A topnotch product by BMOP Sound and Gil Rose. I am happy to own and recommend this CD.

Kudos to Gil Rose and BMOP/sound for recording and producing this CD. With this CD, they continue to fulfill their mission of presenting and capturing contemporary music.

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