The Arts Fuse Reviews Northern Lights Electric

The Arts Fuse reviews Paul Moravec’s new CD (as well as a new CD with works by Thomas Oboe Lee) in a piece entitled: Fuse Classical CD Review: Two New Releases from BMOP/sound — An Indispensable Label for American Composers

On Northern Lights Electric, Mr. Moravec gets a strong showing with two major pieces for orchestra (the eponymous work and “Sempre diritto!“) and two concerti, one for clarinet (masterfully performed by David Krakauer) and the other for cello (sensitively realized by Matt Haimovitz). The title track was inspired by a show of northern lights witnessed within earshot of a New Hampshire power generator, and the resulting piece is boldly colorful, energetic, and evocative. “Sempre diritto!” is similarly direct, if a bit more subdued, expressively.

The highlights of the disc, though, are the concerti. Mr. Krakauer’s performance of the Clarinet Concerto is soulful, impish, and lyrical. In the cello concerto-cum-tone poem Montserrat, Mr. Haimovitz delivers a haunting performance of a piece that’s not all about outward showiness. Denise von Glahn writes that at the end of Montserrat one can hear Mr. Moravec “reluctantly . . . little by little . . . releasing his music.” There are plenty of composers (and pieces) about whom this sort of comment would distinguish material of nugatory import but not here: if anything, this is a disc that ends far too soon.

Read the entire review

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