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Dan Visconti
NewMusicBox, May 2013

Pierson and AWS turn in performances that throb with crisp intensity when called for, while also displaying sensitivity to the many timbral colors that make Bermel’s music pulse, zing, and shimmer.

This recording is a sonic safari at its core: our chance to follow Derek Bermel’s contact with other peoples and traditions, and the impact of these lived experiences as they play out in music. As an album that shows a composer always reaching outside of his own culture and experiences for inspiration, it’s remarkable that Bermel’s offerings feel so distinctly personal and homemade. Despite their myriad sources and origins, each work on this disc reveals a composer totally in touch with his own social and artistic goals. It’s the most impressive release of Bermel compositions to date, performed by some of the most committed advocates of the composer’s artistic vision. © 2013 NewMusicBox Read complete review

George Adams
American Record Guide, March 2013

This most recent record by Alarm Will Sound is typical of the ensemble in its precision and clarity.

Though most of the music on the record is a mixing of musical styles, the four-movement Canzonas is particularly striking for its delivery of idioms all relatable under the label “American”.

Other works are just as eclectic…

Convincing and effective performance of music with this much variety and scope by Alarm Will Sound is not only remarkable, but it brings Bermel’s demanding music to the height of its potential. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle, February 2013

It’s hard to know what to be more dazzled by in the music of composer Derek Bermel—the range of stylistic voices he cultivates or the profusion of ingenuity, beauty and wit he brings to everything he touches. This superb new compilation by the New York ensemble Alarm Will Sound shows off the many sides of Bermel’s musical personality…Each of these pieces on its own is enough to thrill and enthrall a listener, especially in these vibrant and forthright performances led by the ensemble’s music director, Alan Pierson. Taken together, they’re nothing short of magnificent. © 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Read complete review

Brett Campbell
San Francisco Classical Voice, February 2013

It’s hard to imagine another ensemble that could handle the vast range of musical ingredients…that inform this wildly eclectic new document of the Bermel/AWS partnership…

Three Rivers is here in all its cannily cartoonish style, with its improvisatory passages sounding now like John Zorn, now like Henry Threadgill. Earlier works pulse with the rhythmic vitality…

Eclecticism rules in the two multimovement works on the disk.

Any or all movements from this ambitious four-movement title work, an Ivesian collision of North and South American rhythms and tunes, would provide an ideal 21st-century follow-up to an orchestra program of Latin-influenced American works by Copland, Gershwin, Bernstein, and so many others. © San Francisco Classical Voice Read complete review

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, February 2013

Derek Bermel is a multi-talented composer-performer (also a very fine clarinetist) and his music is both wholly unique and very nearly indescribable. This collection is performed exceptionally well by the amazing new music ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, conducted by Alan Pierson and I recommend it strongly. I cannot imagine that anyone would not find something in this composer’s voice to be fond of. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, February 2013

American composer/clarinettist Derek Bermel and chamber band Alarm Will Sound show their classical music counterparts just how rich and diverse an orchestral musical palette can be and how fully it offers classically trained players the chance to show off not only their chops but their expressive skills as well.

The title-track, Canzonas Americanas, which has the heart-grabbing melodies and Technicolor sound to become an overnight hit, was commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. Throughout, the musical experience is absorbing, eventful, involving and not above using cheeky references to favourites such as Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to score entertainment points. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

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