[“Summer Solstice”] is in the American symphonic language of midcentury neoclassicists and is extremely beautiful. … This concerto manages to be tonal, expressive and beautiful without seeming cliche. At 18 minutes, it makes a great recital piece and is perfect for high school and college students as well as professionals. … Highest recommendation.
–Sean Osborn, The Clarinet
Lowell Liebermann: Elegy
Liebermann’s “Elegy” begins with the clarinet’s beautiful melodic line accompanied by the piano’s (sometimes polytonal) tranquil, floating eighth notes… Not a piece for beginners, but very effective for a clarinetist who has mastered the highest register. Liebermann’s “Elegy”…is an important addition to the clarinet and piano repertoire.
–Mikko Raasakka, The Clarinet
Martin Bresnick: Handwork
Bresnick’s expanded modalities canvassed a 12-tone language that was never austere, never arrogant. Artful use of sostenuto pedal (III) created watercolours of layered overtones, ringing out into the silences like white space in a painting. Reminiscent of Messiaen’s organ music, Bresnick’s work evoked spaces of churches – sotto voce utterances surfaced and disappeared again, like conversations heard from the back of pews.
Behzad Ranjbaran: We Are One
Ranjbaran’s work, which had packed so much local color and variety of expression into its short span, was warmly received by its first (and likely far from last) audience.
…this is a major Gordon score dramatizing an array of characters who indeed insinuate themselves into your consciousness.
The music is fundamentally lyrical, though formal melodies arrive only when they are most needed. Smooth orchestral surfaces allowed you to stand back from the domestic squabbles, thanks to a certain kind of harmonic neutrality that creates a place for audiences to have their own reactions to the events at hand. Best of all, this neutrality ‒ not to be confused with vagueness ‒ doesn’t lock the singers in a particular mode of interpretation. No wonder some of the characterizations seemed so personal.
…the music fearlessly hurled itself into the dramatic thickets as decisively as Italian verismo.
…this is an opera about people who didn’t make history, but were victims of it.
–David Patrick Stearns, Classical Voice North America