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Thursday, December 29, 2016

David Rakowski, Stolen Moments, Sarah Bob, Amy Briggs, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose

Stolen Moments (BMOP Sound 1048) gives us two recent works of a modern and rhythmically very lively cast by David Rakowski (b. 1958), a  pupil of Milton Babbitt who has gone on to develop a very abstracted yet melodically-harmonically communicative style, not Serialist per se so much as post-Serialist and eclectically beyond category.

The title work (2008/2010) is almost a concerto for piano and orchestra but in the end gives the orchestra as much or more of a say in the musical pathways that fit together so intricately well. The idea was to take elements of modern jazz and reframe them in new music terms. Pianist Sarah Bob does a fine job with her complex piano part. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project under Gil Rose handles its part with its usual impeccable sense of form and detail.

The same could certainly be said of the "Piano Concerto No. 2" (2011) and its even more complex and demanding modernist sprawl of jagged abstractions and beautifully communicative down-to-earth contrasting phraseology. Amy Briggs tackles her part heroically well, providing the essential high energy level so important to this work's successful performance.

We come out of this program with a rabid appreciation of David Rakowski as a high modernist who can and does incorporate some so-called vernacular elements for two brilliant cocktails of flavor and color.

It is yet another ravishing release in the BMOP series. Very much recommended.

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