Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|John Zorn, William Drury, American Composers Orchestra|
Aporias: Requia For Piano & Orchestra
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classical
This Grew On Me
Christopher Forbes | Brooklyn,, NY | 11/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am not always a great fan of Zorn's concert music. Though some of the string music is quite lovely, I find that often, Zorn's interest in cartoon music, though it is brilliant in groups like Naked City, falls flat in the concert music. And the interest in quoting other material leaves me quite flat...it seems way too hip. But this piece is making me think more seriously about Zorn the composer. Aporias is basically a concerto for piano and orchestra with several movements for unusual combinations, such as children's voices or hand claps. The Prelude has the feel of many other Zorn pieces...within the space of several seconds the music careens from cocktail to Stockhausen to Mickey Mouse. But the material settles down after that. Most of the movements are dominated by dark sombre chords and clusters in the orchestra, with Klavierstucke-like piano figures and some really striking sonic effects. The Con Mistero movement includes some haunting singing from members of an Eastern European boychoir. The music resembles nothing so much as the music of Morton Feldman. The composer also shows a marvelous ear for orchestral sonority. It makes you hope that he will have the opportunity to composer more music in this medium. Ultimately, the largest problem that I've had with most of Zorn's concert music is it's static quality. Though the surface buzzes with detail, the sheer variety of the material ends up paradoxically making the pieces go nowhere. Aporias is a great step forward in this respect. Zorn manages to tie his diverse material together and subject it to an overall arch plan. This, plus the deep melencholy feeling in the work, makes it a very successful piece of concert music. To all of those who dismiss Zorn as a composer, this should give you material for reevaluation. It's definately worth a listen."
Experimental classical music
SPM | Eugene, Oregon | 08/23/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Zorn has written a half-hour tribute to the artistic spirit, employing a small orchestra to play blocks of music. It takes a while to get used to but, because you get something new every time you listen, it's rewarding. If you like Zorn (or anything on his label, Tzadik), you'll like this. Casual listeners might not be too happy with it."
Definitely worth the effort
Dan d'Auteuil | Neuilly sur Seine France | 11/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a challenging work, well worth the effort. It takes you in uncharted territories, beyond the realms explored by the likes of Boulez, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Messiaen etc. It's a very stimulating experience, because you're sort of on your own to grasp what's going on. Not much has been said or written about this record, it's not part of a "theoretical movement". Some think it's a mere curiosity in the Zorn ?uvre, but I believe it's not : it's a very exciting addition to a multidimensional body of work which encompasses style and genre barriers. This recording is neither "popular music" or "classical" : it is a unique work, which challenges rigid classifications. But is it a pleasurable listen ? Yes. It really is, although it does take repeated listenings. To me, Zorn (like Zappa) is in a unique position : his musical abilities are immense and fortunately not limited by a narrowing training in a very specific area. This enables him to fuel his avant-garde compositions with new blood, as compared to the more contrived works of other "modern day" composers. This was already the case with other great modern composers, such as Varese, Xenakis, Feldman or Zappa. Aporias exemplifies what true "crossover" can be, as opposed to blending a bunch of stylistic "clichés". If you've ever dreamed of hearing a large symphonic orchestra driven by the sense of adventure of hardcore and free-jazz, this work is for you."