Lynn René Bayley
, January 2013
…it was with great enthusiasm that I looked forward to this recording, and I was not in the least bit disappointed. Shifrin always seems to be able to bring out so much character in the groups he supervises and/or participates in, partly, I suspect, due to the extremely high quality of his musical friends, and those here are no exception. From the first notes of Copland’s Sextet, one of his finest works and a reduction of his Short Symphony, one is immediately riveted by the high quality of the music and its performance.
…Stephen Hartke’s The Horse with the Lavender Eye…really sparkles with Hartke’s crazy-clockwork rhythms and quirky harmonic shifts…it’s a delightfully quirky piece given an equally delightful, and quirky, reading.
This appears to be the first, and only, recording of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Trio in Red. Its first movement, “Orange Circle, Yellow Line” is largely plaintive and moody, albeit with a staccato piano accompaniment. Gradually, however, it morphs into the busy, spiraling melodic line of the middle section before relaxing the tempo once again. The second part, “Red Whirl,” is an almost-chaotic-sounding piece that ends on a high cadence. This also appears to be the premiere recording of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra. It is typical of her wonderful style, beginning with a brash, cheerful first movement before shifting gears into an elegy for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.
…there is no mistaking the deeply felt quality of the performance, so much so that the emotion is palpable, nor the high quality of the concerto itself. I have no hesitation in recommending this disc. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review