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David DeBoor Canfield
Fanfare, January 2020

The performance by the Aquinas Trio is superlative in every parameter, as indeed are the readings by the other performers here. Keeley is unquestionably a major composer of our time, and as such deserves the attention of any reader who is interested in current trends in composition. His unique voice will not disappoint. © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review




Nathan Faro
American Record Guide, November 2019

Now here is some excellent chamber music! I am delighted to write about Rob Keeley’s music again. I reviewed an album of his last year (J/F 2018), where I found him to be an impeccable craftsman, with clarity of texture and endless melodic invention. That is true of this album. These are more recent works continuing his exploration of small chamber groupings. Special praise must be given to the spritely clarinet bagatelles and the quartet for four clarinets. Two light ‘Sorbetti’ appear in the quartet to cleanse the musical palate of dense and thorny music in the movements proper. These are both important additions to the limited but growing clarinet repertory. I must also mention the exhilarating hockets in the fifth of the six violin duos—they must be a joy to play! © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



The British Music Society, September 2019

There was a common thread running through nearly all the works in Keeley’s musical style, centred on a light-footed rhythmic ebullience played with needle-sharp virtuosity by all eleven musicians across the whole CD. © 2019 The British Music Society



David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2019

Born in the UK in 1960, Rob Kelley studied the piano and composition in London, Rome and Tanglewood before embarking on a career as a pianist and composer. The present disc covers world premiere recordings of six pieces of chamber music composed over the last four years, and from the outset of the Clarinet Quartet—in six short movements—we are in a very modern idiom that retains a listener friendly quality. As the disc progresses we also find ourselves in today’s popular idiom of creating works from a number of cameo movements, the Quartet fashioned in six very differing moods and tempos that are often lively, the innovative use of these instruments creating a pleasing sound spectrum coming together in a final theme and variations. Six Duos for Two Violins largely finds them in conversation, and here again each duo is a miniature of differing complexions. We hear the composer in his other guise, as the pianist, in the Clarinet Sonata and Five Bagatelles, the Bagatelles, all well within two minutes, completed just over a year ago, and finds him in very experimental mode that is going towards atonality. That facet had already begun to shade his music in the Piano Trio No.2 where he tends to link short solo passages to create the score. He writes that he “is not specially attracted to writing a string quartet”, and this is close as he has reached. It is performed by the Aquinas Piano Trio, already well established in the UK’s chamber music scene. Keeley is now fifty-nine and obviously still enjoys experimenting, and it will be interesting to see where he goes. The recording has ideally balanced the various permutation of artists taking part, and is of high quality. © 2019 David’s Review Corner





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