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Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, January 2013

…this Naxos disc…presents a wide range of music…Curve is a 15-minute string quartet…this is a string quartet unlike anything you’ve heard before, and unlike anything else that Ince has composed…while remaining identifiably within his style. Hammers and Whistlers…is like a wild stew into which everything from rocks to firecrackers has been tossed in. This is music that draws everyone in, and there isn’t enough of that these days! What a great experience this must have been for the guest ensembles, who acquit themselves well.

Istathenople ’s unique sound comes from the use of ethnic instruments, as well as an ethnic singer, who has a text only at the end. There’s a tremendous cultural mix going on in this work, but instead of competition, there is synergy…a feat which is both daring and pleasurable.

Strange Stone is described in the booklet as “pure, audacious fun,” and that it is. With Ince, the surprises never end. One looks forward to where he will go next, and to Judgment of Midas in particular! © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Gavin Dixon
Fanfare, January 2013

Curve, for string quartet, finds Ince at his most dreamy and mystical. The piece is based on the evocative sound of repeated falling seconds. But the calm of the opening proves to be transitory, as later sections increase the energy and intensity. The sectional structure of this, and all the works on the disc, clearly owes much to the Minimalist tradition, but thematic connections link the sections, and a strong intellectual thread holds the work together.

Hammers and Whistlers, the most recent work on the disc, is a more abrasive affair. The Minimalism now turns industrial, and the combination of chanting choir, metallic percussion, and repeated rhythmic devices from the orchestra, calls to mind Andriessen’s De Staat. All the heavy, percussive unisons from the instrumentalists, hammering out the downbeats, calls to mind Carl Orff, and the impressively idiomatic use of children’s voices also suggests Britten. Like all the pieces on the album, the performance and recording here is excellent…

Strange Stone is a fitting conclusion to the program… © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, March 2012

The new Naxos includes Hammers and Whistles, for women’s and children’s chorus, exotic percussion, and orchestra—a work that has the pounding intensity one expects from this composer, but the quiet children’s chanting and serene pedals are even more striking.

Every piece here is memorable.

Hadass Pal-Yarden is the exquisite “ethnic voice” in Isathenople. The Milwaukee Choral Artists and children’s chorus are sensational; they have a great deal of difficult music to sing, from crazed shrieks to gorgeous lullabies, and they come through beautifully…The recording, made at Alverno Collete in Milwaukee, is big and lively, yet intimate in the peaceful sections. I was expecting a great deal from this and was not disappointed. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

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