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Henry Fogel
Fanfare, September 2019

The music has a great deal of energy—“The Magician” begins with a neo-Stravinsky ostinato—and a wide range of colors, including glissandos and twittering bird calls, all brilliantly conveyed by Chicago Pro Musica, a group consisting of Chicago Symphony Orchestra members that specializes in contemporary music.

Overall, this is an important collection of music by a composer who is steadily gaining visibility in the American music scene. With committed and highly accomplished performances and clean recorded sound, it is an easy recommendation. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Colin Clarke
Fanfare, September 2019

This performance was recorded in January 2016; the composer’s own website houses a video performance by the ensemble Sequitur, conducted by the composer in 2011, that includes video projections of the relevant Pompeiian art. The mobile beauty of the work’s final movement, “Ash: Awareness of Mortality,” is simply beautifully realized by the Chicagoans on this Naxos account. This is a sonic treat.

To say this is stimulating fare is an understatement. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



David DeBoor Canfield
Fanfare, September 2019

I’ve previously sung the praises of clarinetist John Bruce Yeh, one of the Chicago Symphony’s longest-serving members, but each of the other musicians that comprise the Chicago Pro Musica is a worthy collaborator and together, they present these works in a stellar light. I give this disc a very high recommendation to anyone who gives credence to my musical predilections. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, September 2019

Victoria Bond (b. 1945) has had a distinguished career as conductor and composer. These are recent works. She describes her music in relation to Joyce’s Ulysses in its “stream of consciousness”.

Notes by the composer, with good performances. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Guy Rickards
Gramophone, August 2019

The performances throughout are well prepared and committed, from the virtuoso pianism of Olga Vinokur to the effortless ensemble of Chicago Pro Musica. An excellent disc and a benchmark for how contemporary music can be presented to a wider public. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




BBC Music Magazine, August 2019

These colourfully scored chamber works, in premiere recordings, paint a vivid picture indeed. © 2019 BBC Music Magazine



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2019

A program of chamber music in first recordings is what we contemplate this morning, in other words New Tonal Music 2005-2011 by Victoria Bond (b. 1945), under the umbrella title Instruments of Revelation (Naxos 8.559864). The Chicago Pro Musica does the performance honors and they are quite convincing and well worth hearing in that role. © 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Read complete review



Michael Schulman
The WholeNote, May 2019

Olga Vinokur performs Binary, a heavily percussive seven-minute piece whose first movement reminded me of Thelonious Monk, followed by a set of variations on a Brazilian samba, ending a disc of very mixed imagery, pleasures and perplexity. © 2019 The WholeNote Read complete review




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, May 2019

…On this album are two chamber works that are ideal for presentation by collegiate chamber groups. The Chicago Pro Musica, a collection of Chicago and New York orchestral players, clearly approached the project with enthusiasm and commitment. © 2019 AllMusic.com Read complete review




Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, May 2019

The performances here serve the music quite well with some exquisite playing by the Chicago Pro Musica that help Bond’s often beautiful lyricism shine. Articulation and attention to detail also help set up her crisp rhythmic ideas quite well. There is good variety in this release which provides some appeal for those interested in chamber music, song cycles, or works for piano. But really, it lends itself to an exploration of Bond’s more intimate writing for these forces and her sense of dramatic shape to her thematic inspirations for these works. © 2019 Cinemusical Read complete review



Records International, May 2019

Bond is adept at writing characterful, entertaining and approachable chamber music in an idiom firmly based in tonality but with a certain harmonic unpredictability, which along with rhythmic liveliness and precisely judged and inventive instrumental groupings lend the music freshness, originality and charm. © 2019 Records International Read complete review




Infodad.com, April 2019

Third Coast Percussion is Chicago-based, and the Chicago area is something of a hotbed of modern classical music: a new Naxos CD of chamber works by Victoria Bond shows this clearly, with first-rate performances by Chicago Symphony members playing as Chicago Pro Musica. … Bond’s Leopold Bloom’s Homecoming (2011), a song cycle for tenor (Rufus Müller) and piano (Jenny Lin) based on James Joyce’s Ulysses. Bond handles the voice and piano parts well, and the performers do a good job with the material…The CD concludes with Binary (2005), a work for piano solo (Olga Vinokur) whose bright liveliness, based on the Brazilian samba, ends the disc pleasantly. © 2019 Infodad.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2019

Born in 1945, Victoria Bond joins that group of American composers who have prodded music forward while keeping contact within the traditions of tonality. Prolific in her output in almost every genre, the present disc contains two works for chamber group; an extended song cycle, and a short work for piano solo all composed in the present century. The most lengthy of these, the Frescoes and Ash, contains seven musical pictures based on the Italian town of Pompii, both in the present day and in the tragic doom that once overtook the whole area. Each picture uses a different permutation of clarinet, strings, percussion and piano, the whole coming together in the final view of Ash, an awareness of our mortality. At times calling for a degree of virtuosity, particularly so in the fourth picture, The Sybil Speaks, there is a rather unusual movement with a duo between violin and double bass in Chiron Teaches Achiles to play the Lyre. Stylistically continuing where Benjamin Britten left off, Leopold Bloom’s Homecoming for tenor and piano, uses words adapted by Bond from James Joyce’s Ulysses, and is well suited to the voice of the British-German tenor, Rufus Muller. Three descriptive sections of Instruments of RevelationThe Magician; The High Priestess and The Fool – are scored for woodwind, strings and piano, with a short and lively solo piano work, Binary, played by Olga Vinokur, to complete the disc. I am not sure if these are ‘live’ performances, as theys were recorded at three very differing locations from 2012 through to 2016, the long established and highly regarded Chicago Pro Musica being an off-shoot of the Chicago Symphony. © 2019 David’s Review Corner





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