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Thursday, October 12, 2017
Wayne Peterson, Transformations, Prism Quartet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose
Nonetheless I am very glad to make the composer's aural acquaintance on his new collection of orchestral compositions, Transformations (BMOP Sound 1053), with the ever-essential Boston Modern Orchestra Project doing the honors under conductor Gil Rose, and the PRISM Quartet stepping in for the spotlight role on the work "And the Winds Shall Blow."
He writes complex chromatic music, high modernist shrines of intricate latticework. If you imagine Elliot Carter, and why should you not, you might put Wayne Paterson in his league, so to speak, not as some clone, but another highly individual later modern chromaticist.
That to me is an extraordinarily good thing!
In the three works on this recording, we hear Peterson at his best.
The Pulitzer Prize work "The Face of the Night, The Heart of the Dark" (1990) gets focused attention and we are all the better for it. It like the other works here give us a swirl of continually evolving phantasmagorias of sound, classic but evolved sound color matrixes of brilliant explosions and implosions of vivid hues and rhythmically charged musical utterances.
And with the opening works, "Transformations" (1985), "And the Winds Shall Blow" (1994), we get variational fireworks of constant refluxive reiterations and post-iterations, if you will have it.
"Winds" distinguishes itself via the welcome presence of the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, who with wind and percussion create an aura of deft interwoven complexities.
This is fabulously complicated high modernist profundity. Anyone (like me) who still thrives on the ear stretching kind of contemporaneity will take to this as exceptionally invigorating.
Modernists, do not miss!