Martin Bresnick: Passions of Bloom: Whitman, Melville, Dickinson
…exemplifies the mind’s intense attachment and attention to the written word in its most fervent and deeply American uses. …the quality of the lines incorporated, and the distinct tones and musical interplay of the different sections, makes for a riveting listening experience.
MARTIN BRESNICK Passions of Bloom – Whitman, Melville, Dickinson (2017) An Oratorio Commission: Commissioned by the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas. Premiere: June 20, 21 2017. Yale Choral Artists, Jeff Douma, conductor; Sprague Hall, New Haven, CT (20), Norfolk Shed, Norfolk, CT (21).
…more than almost any living composer I know of, he is able to take the most basic, plain materials and spin them out into compelling dramatic structures…
Over the past few months, throngs of friends and admirers have gathered to help celebrate Martin Bresnick’s 70th birthday (November 13). Bang on a Can curated events on July 26th and September 11th in honor of their former teacher. Similarly, members of the Yale faculty paid tribute to their colleague’s milestone birthday on October 18th with a specially dedicated program. The celebrations continued on November 6th as a star-studded night of performances at the National Sawdust in New York City ushered in the beginning of Bresnick’s 70th year.
The stylistic range of Martin Bresnick’s music makes it difficult to pin down, but it is always “marked by an economy of materials and lyrical intensity” (Kyle Gann, American Music in the Twentieth Century). We encourage you to browse through the catalog highlights below and discover why so many champion his music.
MY FRIEND’S STORY An Opera: Prologue, 3 Scenes, Epilogue (Based on the story “Strakh” by Anton Chekhov)
There were sincere ovations and gasps of admiration heard throughout the performance, and the sort of curtain-call reception which any theater creator would hope for. You felt part of something special just by showing up.
–New Haven Theater Jerk
THE WAY IT GOES for Orchestra 2(1 dbl. Fl.) 2 2 2 – 2 2 0 0; Timp. 1Perc. Str.
…effective as a call to action; and in the light of Ferguson, Missouri, and similar events, Mr. Bresnick’s “call” was an action worthy of multiple hearings.
Although it begins as though it might be some sort of minimalist piece… it develops into something completely different, nostalgic, deep, and beautiful, and having a very specific relationship to its text.
Mercifully free of stereotypic trappings of negativity — just listen to the chiming, dancing turns of “Ishi’s Song” — you’ll find Bresnick handing you refreshingly new and yet fully authentic meditations on things we least understand.