Shulamit Ran: Grand Rounds

“Grand Rounds” convey[ed] a sense of celebration, though not in overbearing ways. Instead, she [Ran] brought forth a vast range of color from a rather unconventional band: The Grossman Ensemble features Chicago’s Spektral Quartet at its core, plus winds, horn, dual percussionists, harp and piano. Ran used this palette to pen a readily accessible score that was as transparent in texture as it was lucid in tone. The joyful tintinnabulation of two mallet instruments spoke softly, as did long-held notes from flute and alto saxophone. Musical events came swiftly, the piece gaining animation and rhythmic momentum over time. Ultimately, Ran reminded listeners that it’s possible to employ a relatively large ensemble in ultra-economical ways, while still achieving a brilliant timbral array.

–Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune